Education Choices Magazine Winter 2021

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Education Choices WINTER 2021



Simon James Green (LGTBQ+ author) discusses his new book


How are children, schools and universities responding to COP26?

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION FEATURES INCLUDE: Gender equality in schools, diversity in books and supporting deaf children


A FATHER’S PERSPECTIVE Education Corner podcast interview with Marvyn Harrison (Dope Black Dads)





Dear Readers, We are honoured to include a leading father figure and diversity champion, Marvyn Harrison. We welcome several authors and loved speaking to Simon James Green and hearing about his work on LGBTQ+. We have a very inclusive and diverse range of features in this exciting edition and a focus on young people’s responses to COP26… Wishing everyone a peaceful 2022! Chloe Abbott (Founder) Email:

“Sometimes I think my papa is an accordion. When he looks at me and smiles and breathes, I hear the notes.” Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

Reading Corner Books to Inspire the Brave and Bold Shadow: Michael Morpurgo The story of Aman, an asylum seeker from Afghanistan, who sneaks into England and has to fight to stay living there. Each chapter ends on a cliffhanger.

The Boy Who Met A Whale: Nizrana Farook A hunt for missing treasure and a battle to be first. An exciting adventure and you just want to read on. You can’t put it down.

Who Let The Gods Out?: Maz Evans A really funny book that is easy to read and makes you laugh out loud. It is about a boy called Elliot who is sent on a quest with the Gods to find the Earth Stone. There are evil characters who fight against them.

The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club: Alex Bell My friend Lukas introduced me to this book and I love it. The author has written more in the series. It

is the story of four unique and different people who go on an expedition and accidently swerve off track!

The Good Thieves: Katherine Rundell I love this book. You aren’t meant to like thieves but you do. It is like Robin Hood – stealing from the rich to give to the needy. It is a story about love and family.

The Wild Robot: Peter Brown A lovely book to read just before bed. It is about friendship and adventure. A robot comes to life and he makes best friends with a duck.

There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom: Louis Sachar (My personal favourite!) The story of Bradley Chalkers, a disruptive bully who terrorises people around him. He turns his life around when he spends time with the school counsellor. The chapters

are short and easy to read.

Granny: Anthony Horowitz A very funny story (at one point Granny glues someone’s hand to a train) which kept me engaged. I would recommend it if you want to laugh out loud and be entertained.

By Benji (Age 9)



03 Reading Corner: Books to inspire the Brave and Bold A young reader, Benji, makes some useful book recommendations

06-09 The 12 Days of Christmas 12 nurseries reveal their festive activities in the run up to Christmas

10 Christmas Cupcakes Leiths School of Food and Wine share an exciting recipe for you to try at home

11 Returning to ‘normal’ Combatting anxiety

12-13 Wings of Independence Encouraging children to become more resilient

14 A school advent calendar delivers a Christmas miracle! The teachers at Park Lane Primary got a lie in

15 What will the world look like when I grow up? The Eyes on You Campaign

16 How can we help prevent Climate Change? A young girl’s perspective

17 Climate Change Day Swaffield School addresses climate change concerns

18 Self-Belief Overcoming the monster

EDUCATION CORNER PODCAST SPECIAL FEATURE: 20-27 Education Choices Podcast Interview with Marvyn Harrison 28-30 Education Choices Podcast Interview Children’s author and LGBTQ+ writer, Simon James Green

19 Education Corner Podcast Churcher’s College Nursery and Junior School’s Ffion Robinson


30 Lifting Limits

Challenging gender stereotypes in primary schools

31 Shining a Light Diversity in Children’s Literature

33 Lancing College Choir Choral excellence from over 55 pupils

34 Managing safeguarding and mental health in a pandemic Riverston School are addressing the mental health of their children post the pandemic

36 What are schools here for? St Edward’s School stresses the importance of wellbeing when supporting students


In the Winter issue... 38 The Wellington College Competition for Chemistry has been launched!


Naomi and Ollie discuss the motivation behind their competition and tips for success

40 The power of a values-led school to create a better future South Bank University Academy have a vision for the future

41 Don’t forget about the Children Climate change poem from an English student at the University College London

42 World Changers


Bristol students headed to COP26 climate conference

43 Implementing change Informing parliamentarians on climate change

44 ‘Life-changing’ scholarship for refugees and asylum seekers grows 45 Scholarship boost Legal minds of the future

Offering students a financial education Arden University looks to help students get online through hardship fund

46 Introducing the new LSBU Croydon campus The LSBU Group has a powerful mission to transform lives


The University of Bristol changes lives as it expands its Sanctuary Scholarship

47 Myths and misconceptions surround deafness What’s the real story?

48 Help!

When is it needed most?


49 Surrey house prices expected to rise by 10.4 per cent in next five years Savills reveals latest research

50-51 Winter Magic Galuchat Design celebrates ‘getting cozy’ over the coming months…



52-54 Maintained School Options 55-64 Independent School Options

Editor: Tatiana Summers Photography: Magazine design:



12 Days of Christmas Ark Start John Archer Nursery Ark Start John Archer is a new nursery 6 minutes walk from Clapham Junction train station. It was set up by a group of qualified teachers who are committed to making sure that every child has a joyful, engaging and secure nursery experience. Our nursery is about much more than childcare. Our expert staff have created a nursery where children can play, learn and have fun together. Ark Start John Archer is also a place where families can come together, share their experiences

and build support networks. This week the children have been making their very own salt dough winter decorations and ornaments to take home. Children demonstrated a range of skills across the EYFS areas of learning as they mixed, kneaded and rolled out the dough, all the time having lovely conversations about all things winter. Just one of the many activities planned to celebrate the winter season!

Bridge Lane Nursery This December, the children at Bridge Lane Nursery have been super busy getting all excited and prepared for Christmas. As well as the young ones’ yoga and Stretch and Grow exercise classes, the children have been impressing everyone in their music sessions with their singing and dancing along to their favourite Christmas songs. Every child has been taking part in showing off their unique creative skills as they have been sticking and gluing to produce a wonderful array of decorations to hang on the tree. But ssshhhh! … There has also been a surprise visit from Father Christmas! What a treat! But of course, this is because all the children at Bridge Lane Nursery are on the good list this year.

Bright Horizons Northcote Road Day Nursery and Preschool These are some of the learning experiences that the children have been doing throughout the month of December. The babies have been using both gross and fine motor skills to create this wonderful artwork. Lots of critical thinking has been involved and problem solving. The Children have had a wonderful time creating these. Have a wonderful bubbly Christmas and Happy New Year. Preschool have been exploring arctic animals and making their own Christmas trees using different materials and tools. They are very excited about Christmas!


Churcher’s College Junior School and Nursery It was with great excitement that the Nursery and Reception children retold the story of ‘The First Christmas’ in their nativity production this week. The children delighted their parents and grandparents with their beautiful singing and storytelling. They looked wonderful in their costumes on a stage bedecked with little, sparkling stars. The event was just magical and we are all so proud of the children. What a fabulous way to start the school Christmas celebrations! We have a very special Christmas gingerbread house set up in the Nursery, complete with a fireplace and sofa, where the children can explore lots of Christmassy books and activities. They can also design and make their own Christmas cards and post them in the ‘post office’ with its little post box. The children are looking forward to a Christmas party to round off a fabulous fun-filled term!

Eaton House the Manor Nursery Christmas is absolutely my favourite time of year! The children have been creating Christmas cookies and baking biscuit baubles! There is glitter galore, from wrapping and writing to sticking and stamping the letters and parcels! Father Christmas has got lots of letters with many requests, I know that all our children are on the nice list! Everyone has a part in A Bundle of Joy,

they have been singing, acting and dancing to the brilliant Out of the Ark soundtrack, and having a week on Zoom didn’t stop the excitement and energy of our staff and children. There has been Christmas jumper day in aid of Save the Children, along with numerous creative crafts and incredible imaginative igloos!!!! Everyone deserves a delightful Christmas and a wonderful New Year! the-manor/nursery

Little Forest Folk Nursery Little Forest Folk in Putney Heath is a fully outdoor nursery and the children there have been busy in the forest getting into the swing of the festive season. The children have been creating their very own special Christmas spiral calendars so they can count down the days to Christmas, taking great care to paint them in beautiful colours. There have also been plenty of other creative festive crafts happening including collages and even making sensory tree cookies which were exquisitely decorated. The children have also enjoyed reading festive books together with their friends in the forest which has led to lots of lovely imaginary play. Little Forest Folk Putney Heath are all keeping their fingers and toes crossed for some snow before the end of the year, so they can get the sleds out and go sledging in the forest!


Little Lancing Day Nursery & Forest School Little Lancing Day Nursery & Forest School is now in its third year and offers year-round childcare from two months to 5 years. Wellestablished, it now has over 120 children on roll. The children get out and about, with walks in the College woodland and alongside the neighbouring river Adur. The Little Lancing children have been busy in December and enjoyed helping to dress each Christmas tree and make their own Christmas decorations. There have been a multitude of festive activities including making playdough snowmen and gingerbread, Christmas wreaths and treasure baskets. There’s even a Christmas elf making mischief in the Preschool room! With Christmas Jumper Day, parties and Christmas Lunch to come, everyone is getting excited for the Christmas holiday.

Marmalade Caterpillar Nursery At the Marmalade Caterpillar we have been exploring special days of our families and the local community, such as Thanksgiving, Diwali, Eid, Hanukkah, and Christmas. This year for the Christmas project the children have enjoyed creating their own reindeers, Christmas trees, angels and letters for Santa. We have investigated some of the different names for Father Christmas from around the world, revisiting

the importance of being a little bit the same and a little bit different. The children’s enthusiasm for the Nativity Play, their songs, costumes and all the little moments that happened on the day, made this a truly magical event. We were exceptionally pleased to be able to welcome parents back into the nursery to join us for the start of their Christmas celebrations.

Park Lane Nursery We are big fans of advent at Park Lane Primary School and Nursery, as it’s all about the run up to Christmas – which can be just as exciting as Christmas Day itself! Our nursery children have been getting involved in our virtual advent calendar, as a creative addition to the usual Christmas performances. They sang a beautiful rendition of ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’, which can be viewed here. But Christmas isn’t Christmas without seeing the big man himself, and it turns out he has freed up some time from the workshop to make a visit to the children next Monday – we can’t wait! In addition, our local vicar will be visiting soon after to tell the Christmas Story and help everyone to understand the true meaning of Christmas. Most importantly, the children have already been treated to a Christmas Dinner, complete with party hats and crackers!



Sparkies Nursery School At Sparkies we have been very busy making an array of treasures to take home and celebrate with family! We take each festival adding our Sparkies magic! This year we made our wellbeing wreath exploring the sensory aspect, making chatter as our feature. Each hand represents a feeling (happy, sad), and each finger represents what our family and friends mean to us… “I like my family, friends because…” - we had some beautiful comments, here are a few: “My mummy is my best friend.”; “My daddy reads stories not from a book.”; “My friend is my friend.”; “I like using kind hands.”; and finally “Sharing is caring.” Christmas is not about making, sticking and doing, BUT it’s the why, what, how, when and who… If we stop and listen we understand their feelings and support their needs.

Tadpoles Nursery Tadpoles Nursery have been getting excited for Christmas with a range of activities: making gingerbread men and fake snow, singing songs and learning about the Winter seasons and celebrations. With our fantastic garden we have been able to watch hibernation with our tortoises, Trouble and Strife, and our pond life. We got to meet a real-life reindeer and sung our hearts out to our parents in our annual Christmas Concert.

The Kindergartens Nursery The run up to Christmas lends itself naturally to our topic of Let’s Celebrate! As the final festive event in the year, it’s a tremendously exciting and busy time. We do as much outside play and learning as possible, wrapped up warm and drinking hot chocolate. From half-term we learn the story of Mary and Joseph, and letter hunt in the snow (Dad’s shaving foam very giggly) and make Christmas cards to sell for our chosen charity. Our Christmas trees arrive on 1st

December when we are well into nativity rehearsals, so it’s time to start making Christmas gifts. There’s also lots of baking to be done, the smells of Christmas are so good! Orange, gingerbread, pine, chocolate, slowly-warming dough. During this week’s Forest School, we had a scavenger hunt on the theme of The Twelve Days of Christmas – one group located Twelve Swans-a-Swimming on a local pond!

TURN TO P14 to read about Christmas miracles at Park Lane Preparatory



Christmas Cupcakes These cupcakes were so delicious that some of them were eaten warm before there was a chance to let them cool down before being iced. When using icing take care as you need very hot water. Preparation time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 18 minutes Serves: 8 Author: Viv Pidgeon 110g/4oz butter 110g/4oz soft dark brown sugar 2 eggs 110g/4oz self raising flour, sifted ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon mixed allspice large pinch of nutmeg

water 6 glace cherries, chopped and dusted with a little of the flour 40g/1 ½ oz raisins 40g/1 ½ oz mixed peel icing sugar, sifted boiling water 1. P reheat the oven to 190°C/375F°/gas mark 5. Line patty tins with 8 paper cases. 2. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. 3. Mix the eggs together in a separate bowl, and gradually beat into the creamed mixture a little at a time, adding 1 tablespoon of flour if the mixture begins to curdle. 4. Fold in the flour and spices,

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adding enough water to bring the mixture to a dropping consistency. Stir in the fruit. 5. Divide the mixture between the prepared cases. Bake in the middle of the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, or until the cakes are well risen, golden and feel spongy to the fingertips. 6. Mix together the icing sugar with very little boiling water and drizzle over the top of the cakes.

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Returning to ‘normal’ Combatting anxiety When school resumed in September, Heads across the country hoped for a calmer term. We all knew, however, that returning to normality would bring challenges. The pandemic has brought us close to our vulnerabilities, to loss and grief. It would be wrong to presume that children are immune to the difficult feelings which may arise out of change. Children in Year 2 have never experienced a ‘normal’, primary school year… Experts tell us that children’s emotional development has been delayed. The most fleeting Google search will point to a plethora of

evidence. Much remains unknown about the effects of the pandemic on our children, but we can, and should, approach the return-toschool routine in the same way one might think about developmental trauma: over the last 18 months, children have been exposed to a myriad of distressing situations – a collection of smaller traumas, which, put together, affect children just as a single, large trauma does: the pandemic, losing close ones, worrying about missing school, exams, eco-anxiety… You name it – it is on the list. We must prepare the children for change, by discussing it openly,

honestly, with them and with their parents. Asking about their feelings won’t heighten their anxiety; it will give them psychological safety, enabling them to feel listened to and not judged. Teachers must be prepared: the language needs to be age-appropriate, and reassuring. Children’s feelings and needs will vary; our responses should reflect this. By welcoming questions, by containing anxiety, we can help children regain the ability to manage their ‘panic button’ and to become less reactive to changes. What is crucial in our pastoral toolkit today, will remain relevant tomorrow; children may experience trauma for the foreseeable future. SANDRINE PAILLASSE is Head at St Christopher’s School, Hampstead and a psychotherapist.

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Wings of Independence Encouraging children to become more resilient Do you ever wonder what kind of adult your child will become? Many believe that independence is the greatest gift you can give your child so you may imagine your offspring becoming resilient, self-sufficient, confident and as someone who does their own washing! Hold that image in your head. Now think of three things that will really help to get your primary aged child on the path to independence right now! Here are my thoughts on what might help shape your child as they develop and grow: 1. Start early with the independence training:

aim to foster problem solving skills early and make them practical. By early, I mean from Reception; yes, honestly, it is possible. In my experience, those parents who get their child to pack and unpack their bag independently already get a head start with being independent. Get them to help create a home timetable of what needs to be remembered and what has to be done on each day, and what kit is required. Help them to refer to it regularly. There needs to be plenty of trust in your child, but keep picturing the independent adult you are striving to create! Extend this with simple chores that can be done at home and to promote responsibility – picking up clothes from the floor, putting toys away, getting dressed and putting their own shoes on: these all help. There will be moments of ‘failing’, and you too are part of the independence learning

and a period of just going with them rather than giving up. Remember, none of us were born being independent, they are things we have learned. 2. Give your child strategies to cope when things don’t go to plan: there will be ‘oh no’

moments where kit is forgotten and the wrong items are taken into school. These moments are really important. If you are a parent who rescues and ‘saves’ your child from ‘failure’ then please think carefully about what you are teaching them. This fosters dependency and not independence. Keep that image of your adult offspring in your head and see these ‘mini failures’ as learning opportunities for them to grow their resilience and responsibility. We have all heard and read so much about helping our children be resilient but how far have you actually gone to help develop this attribute? Do you knowingly let your child ‘fail’ in a safe space? Do you ever let them forget their gym kit? Give it a go and I promise that your child will learn so much more than where the spare kit is kept at school! At Churcher’s College Junior School, we are great believers of the acronym FAIL – First Attempt In Learning and even at Churcher’s College Nursery, we encourage children to put their coats on and zip them up independently. If you keep helicoptering in to save the day, then they learn nothing! 3. Give them a toolkit and directory of who can help when they are young: linked to the

development of resilience, cast your mind back to your first professional failure; perhaps you were late for work, you fell out with a work colleague or you did not get promoted. How did you deal with this? With mental health issues in young people at a high (1 in 10), let’s tackle this together, parents 1 2 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | W I N T E R 2 02 1

and educators, by not only working on resilience, but giving them problem solving strategies to know where to go (who can help) and what to do when things go wrong. Discuss the issue together and ask them: ‘how do you think you can solve this problem on your own first?’ Who can your child ask? Again, even the youngest can ask their teacher what they can do to get the assembly part or how to improve their maths score. Lawnmowing the ground ahead for your child is counterproductive in reaching the goal of independence. Let them know that there are some things that they can control and how they can take responsibility. Naturally, as they get older, the problems become more complex and they may not even share them with you, so get ahead and teach them those strategies rather than acting as their mouthpiece. Triage the situation with them with decision tree style questions. They may not do things in the manner that you discussed or in ‘your’ way, but devolve the control to them and let them know that you’ll always be there for them once they have given it a go themselves first. This really helps them understand that they have a part to play and a responsibility too.

No-one said parenting or life was easy…but we know that creating roots of responsibility in your child now will help them to unfurl their wings of independence later. FFION ROBINSON Head of Churcher’s College Junior School and Nursery TURN TO P18 to read about Sarah Lean’s book The Good Bear

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A school advent calendar delivers a Christmas miracle! The teachers at Park Lane Primary got a lie in At Park Lane Primary School and Nursery, we are doing advent a little differently this year. In the build up to Christmas, each day, three members of staff will receive a wonderful advent surprise. But instead of a festive picture or slightly odd-tasting chocolate, they are getting ‘little Christmas miracles’ that school and nursery staff could only dream of. Gifts include items such as a gentle start to the day (don’t come in until 10am), a work from home day on your birthday, or an early finish (leave at 1.30pm). While

the advent calendar initiative is fun, it is a serious part of our wellbeing culture at the school. It builds on other benefits we have, such as our beautiful staff lounge with free refreshments, and ‘golden tickets’ which we give out to staff who have consistently

‘gone the extra mile’. The aim of all this is to create a happy, positive, and caring culture within our school, creating a team of people who go above and beyond to make a difference for our community. Our belief is that the many selfless acts of kindness would not happen were it not for the wellbeing of staff being a priority within the school. Small rewards, in the form of ‘little Christmas miracles’ are the least we can do to thank the team. So, start a new tradition, reach for the cardboard and pens, and get crafting a unique advent calendar for your team. Learn from our success – these small acts of kindness really do go a long way! BY LAURA BAKER, Deputy Head, Park Lane Primary School and Nursery

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What will the world look like when I grow up? The Eyes on You Campaign In the weeks leading up to the COP26 conference, we, the children and staff at Saint Christina’s, decided that we would like to do something to tell world leaders how much the issue of climate change matters to us. We took CAFOD’s ‘Eyes On You’ campaign as our inspiration and decided to make two enormous eyes. Everything included within the design was put there for a reason: the blue representing the sea and the sky, the brown the earth, and the green, life in all its many forms. The irises were created to echo images that we have all seen of our beautiful blue planet in space, conveying the message that its conservation is our number one priority. Handprints in the three colours were made by the children and placed around the eye in a gesture of ‘open-handed’ appeal: that we would like humanity’s ‘common good’ to be at the heart of decisions being made by leaders both at the conference. The making of the ‘Eyes’ was a real expression of the whole of the School community with the site manager constructing the frames, the canvas being stitched by the nuns in the adjoining Convent, the handprints and artwork being produced by the children and members of staff, and a member of the office team videoing and editing the final message. The aim of the project has been multi-layered. The first lesson has been to show that it is possible to speak up on causes that we are passionate about. It has also been a lesson in how we can all come together on something that matters to us. We can do that within our community or we can do it in an inter-generational way – good for cohesion and wellbeing at a time when we all need this. Our video message has been an attempt to remind leaders that there should be a recognition that the climate crisis is about the very life and survival of

our richly endowed and unique world. We wanted to challenge them to think about the decisions they are making in a very human and personal way: “Think of me as your grandfather … your mother … your son … Think of me as your grandchild: what will the world look like when I grow up?” The state of the environment is not something that the children need any urging to take a view on; there is a generation of young people coming through who simply despair of their elders. As a small Catholic Prep School we have been giving a lot of thought to the ‘big job’ that we have been given as stewards of the beautiful world we live in. We know that different leaders will have different beliefs and come at the issue from a number of different angles, but we also know that whatever those beliefs and angles are, this is the only world that we have to inhabit. CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO BY ALASAIR GLOAG, HEADMASTER TURN TO P17 to read about the children’s work on climate change at Swaffield Primary School

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How can we help prevent Climate Change? A young girl’s perspective COP26…. hundreds of world leaders, the great and the good, gathered in Glasgow, Scotland to discuss the single most important issue of our time. But did they actually achieve anything, or was it a ‘cop-out’ or as Greta says, just more “Blah blah blah!”? While the global elite bicker in self-interest, it is clear that we cannot leave it up to them alone to fix our problems. So what can we do? What difference can we make as individuals in the face of these overwhelming challenges? What changes can we make in our behaviour? Here are some simple things we can do in our homes and in our lives to do our bit: M ake a conscious effort to consume less meat and dairy produce. Cattle require massive resources to raise and maintain, as the land needed for grazing results in deforestation. In addition, cows are a huge source of methane, a major greenhouse gas. C onsume less energy at home. When you leave a room, remember to turn the lights off – don’t waste electricity! Doing laundry is another 1 6 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | W I N T E R 2 02 1

major source of energy consumption in the home. A standard washing machine cycle is 30 minutes, using 250 watts of energy. But even worse, a dryer utilises up to 1500 watts in 30 minutes. Air dry your clothes to help save our planet! W alk or cycle to school, or work instead of driving. The more we can limit individual car usage, the more chance we have of reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. W e have to reduce our consumption of single-use plastics. Stop using disposable bags, cling film and wet wipes. Switch to washable cloths, and metal straws, for example. B uy fewer clothes – many modern materials contain microplastics that break down and pollute our oceans and soils. Instead, reuse yours or your parents’ old clothes. Vintage clothes are cool! Ultimately, it is our generation that will inherit this planet. It is our responsibility to spread the word many people just don’t take climate change seriously enough. We can use media such as music or art to help raise awareness. To watch something I made earlier to let people know that our world is on fire… CLICK HERE

Little things can make a difference, and we all need to do our part: it is our world after all. We might each be a snowflake, but together we can start an avalanche… BY ANIKA DUTTA (AGE 10) TURN TO P42 to read about the response to COP26 at Bristol University


Climate Change Day Swaffield School addresses climate change Swaffield School began November’s Climate Change Day with a special assembly, sharing information about the enormous social and economic impact that global climate change will have on humans and our precious planet. The assembly explained the effects these changes, such as rising sea levels, food shortages, and price rises, will have on the world population. Children also learned what world leaders, who had assembled in Glasgow for COP26 (the global United Nations summit about climate change), are doing to address this worldwide issue and some of the main strategies that their countries are planning to put

in place to tackle it. Our children’s key concern was learning that world leaders have been aware of climate change since 1988, but that the world’s major economies are not yet on track to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. It’s understandable that so many of the world’s young people, inspired by people like Greta Thunberg and Sir David Attenborough, are uniting to push for real commitment to urgently tackle the issue of global warming and climate change. Year 2 was further inspired, in a special workshop, by Earth

Cubs, who have a mission to inspire the next generation, born from a desire to make planetsaving exciting, entertaining and achievable. Afterwards, in a learning session in Swaffield’s outdoor classroom, the children drew pictures to capture what they had learnt and the messages they’d like to share. SWAFFIELD SCHOOL

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Self-Belief Overcoming the monster I used a childhood experience as a springboard to write a story called The Good Bear. The part about asking for a typewriter and the disappointment at receiving a pair of wellies instead is true. For the child in the story her particular challenges are imagined, but also true in their own way. Like us, all characters experience difficulties and jeopardy that serve to thwart or inspire them. Children are encouraged to read books for many reasons, not only to disappear into another world and stand in another’s shoes. Stories mimic life, from

the conflicts and unexpected gifts to the tests and triumphs. As well as external ‘monsters’, represented by things such as orphanages, villains, bullies or bears, it is also the character’s inner doubts and struggles that need overcoming too. A belief in ourselves, as far as I can see, is about recognising our skills and flaws, even through stories, seeing possibility and learning to keep going. One day we will find ourselves telling our own story of overcoming those monsters. The book is dedicated to my mother because of the disappointment she saw in me when I opened that box of wellies. But she now knows it was overcoming my own lack of self-belief that mattered, not the typewriter. THE GOOD BEAR by Sarah Lean is out now (Paperback, Simon & Schuster Children’s Books)

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EDUCATION EDUCATION CORNER PODCAST Interviews and insights from CORNER leading figures in education PODCAST

“Happy children learn best … we adapt, and we are flexible and we create plans according to what children need.” Churcher’s College Nursery and Junior School: Ffion Robinson CLICK HERE to listen to the podcast

When asked about the Churcher’s College Nursery and Junior School ethos, Ffion responds: “Our USP [Unique Selling Point], really, is to make sure we have happy teenagers, and to our best ability we create those happy teenagers.” When discussing the school’s pupil praise, Ffion explains: “It is one of the many ways we try to boost self-esteem at the Junior School and Nursery. So, teachers will share with me children who deserve praise for their work in class – it could be effort-based or attainment-based – then I take the list of children…and then I handwrite a personal message individually to those children.” Discussing Churcher’s College Nursery and Junior School motto and educational approach, Ffion believes: “Practice makes Progress.”

KEY TOPICS: The Churcher’s College ethos Advantages of a South Downs location Extracurricular clubs and activities Supporting the students inside and outside the classroom Entry points Features of a Churcher’s child Pupil praise Embracing inclusion and diversity activities and specialist sports

TURN TO P12 to read Ffion Robinson’s article on developing independence at Churcher’s Junior School


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SPECIAL FEATURE Inclusion and Diversity/A Father ’s Perspective


Marvyn Harrison Marvyn Harrison, founder of Dope Black Dads and BELOVD, talks about his experience as a father and his work as a diversity and inclusion champion

Dope Black Dads started as a closed WhatsApp group between a handful of fathers in 2018 and has grown across social media and the web, hosting live events (with a Webby Award-winning podcast) and has now become a series of communities. There are more than 250,000 members across the UK, US and South Africa. This is an incredible achievement!


What inspired you to set up Dope Black Dads?

The inspiration for starting was really being challenged by the idea of male parenting. Parenting is probably the only place which is heavily female normative and so the male perspective is relatively unknown and untapped in terms of what kind of things you can do as a parent. I’ve had some terrible experiences going to baby groups, dealing with the NHS at times or medical professionals, where I’m almost ignored and erased. I always wanted to be this amazing father. There have been a lot of fear driven boundaries historically, but I wanted to have this really beautiful relationship with my children, so when I had my second child, and I felt I was finding it difficult to connect with her, it really, really impacted me. So, I just wanted to talk to other dads about it really. I think that being Black fathers, knowing the historic and cultural pressures as well as the fatherhood stuff really, really mattered. We just started having really important conversations that I had never had before, even with people who I had known for many years. We had this really beautiful beginning.

Following this, we then told our stories of our experiences, openly acknowledging the challenges we have in parenting. What that’s then created has meant that more dads are talking about this thing which we are all going through around the world, every man has the possibility of being a dad, and you have to understand it before you start it, and if you have already started a family you want to know how to keep your relationships with your children pure and supportive. How did it begin?

The first thing was when we moved from a Whatsapp group of 33 people to a Podcast. We were discussing things that even I didn’t understand and nobody else understood. As a result, we wanted to talk about these topics at length. We created the Podcast quite early on after about 3 months. Essentially, it was just a conversation, there was no fancy music with transitions it was more like:

“I think that confidence in parenting for dads is low. It’s not a place where they feel powerful: it’s a place where they’re constantly second guessing themselves; there is a slight imposter syndrome.” » EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | WI NT ER 2021 | 21

SPECIAL FEATURE Inclusion and Diversity/A Father ’s Perspective

“Hey, we’re here! This is the Podcast. What’s going on today?” And we would start discussing these themes. The Podcast being picked up by The Guardian was the first big thing, and that happened in January 2019. By April of that year, we had our show on BBC Sounds and One Extra. From there we haven’t looked back, we grow every year with a new edition of how we’re touching people. For me, I think, telling the stories of Black men through fatherhood is absolutely paramount and we try to honour that as much as possible. What do you think is the biggest misconception society has made about Black dads?

It’s funny, I am working on my adult book at the minute and one of the themes which keeps occurring is absenteeism. Black fathers are equally absent as any other race in the country, there are no particular adverse stats. I think that what happens is because of the size of our population, when you transfer that, I would say that absentee fathers can be seen as an epidemic anyway, and when you put it into a particular culture, with other pressures, it is then magnified as a huge, huge challenge. This is one symptom of many things as to why that happens for men. I think that we spoke about it very early on: how parenting can be very female normative, that’s hugely problematic. Especially if the fathers don’t feel that they can bring their full self. I think that the confidence in parenting for dads is low. It’s not a place where they feel powerful: it’s a place where they’re constantly second guessing themselves; there is a slight imposter syndrome. For those who do feel powerful in it, please do share all your secrets. However, for many of us there is this feeling of doubt when dealing with

“Words become your actions, become your thoughts, become your feelings. They’re all interconnected. So when you say things, even if it’s flippantly, like: “Oh, you’re being a snowflake!’’ All of those things have an impact and can leave a negative energy in the world.” 22 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | W I N T E R 2 02 1

your children, helping them on your own, going on holiday by yourself, how much to hug them. Should I kiss them? Can my daughter wear nail varnish? Can my son wear a dress? How do I approach all these things that are happening, what’s the appropriate level? Where’s the boundaries? Discipline? All those things which can come up... But when you’re a man it can have a different texture to it than when you’re the mother. You have written a book (due to be released in June 2022): Dope Black Dads with two leading publishing houses and you state: “This one is for the adults and specifically our families who want to understand us more and to love us better.” Can you tell me more about the book and possibly explain what you mean by this?

I think that what is really interesting is that our platforms are followed by 65% women, so the men are in our spaces, they know what we’re talking about, so they don’t follow it in the same way, they are a part of it, they are it. Whereas, for the women, they get a chance to see their partner’s perspective, they get to learn what he is thinking and feeling that he perhaps hasn’t learnt to express to you yet. You get to be introduced into the deeper psyche of men. I think that women really, really care about how their partners are. The reason why men don’t go and get health check-ups, what is that all about? How to approach it, why that’s important. It’s usually the people that love us who show up for us the most. As men, we don’t show up for ourselves that much. If you’re an active

and present loving father, your whole mission is dedicated to supporting your family. That’s it. You abandon yourself every day. One side of the conversation is that women are not paid enough, which is true and we need to fix that. The other side of it is that men dedicate their whole purpose to making money and being useful in that way. If that purpose is taken away from them, whether through their own means or not, it devastates a lot of their meaning. Personally, I would rather have more of a feminine balance in terms of being closer to my children and then going to work, than going to make money, but that’s my only meaning and I have no deeper connection with my children or my wife, friends and family, as all I’m measured on is my capitalism. That doesn’t work for me. I think that this has happened to many men and I think that that’s why you see things like suicide rates as being significantly higher in men. I think it’s something like 75% of all suicides are men, it all adds up to the same unworkable list of challenges that are unique to us. Can you tell me what other key areas the book covers?

The key ideas which I look at are: masculinity - what that actually means; when to know that you’re ready to have children; your finances; your mental or physical health; LGBTQIA+ and fatherhood (and that’s talking about it from the perspective of people who have been raised as LGBTQIA+ people). I got a couple of fathers that I knew to talk about that experience, of both what it is like as a parent and what it is like to be parented, as a part of this community. I have also explored what it is like to be a woman, and how we protect women as a community, and what we should be doing, I dedicated a whole chapter to that whole conversation, where women talk about their experiences of not being protected by men, and also of the men that have protected them, and how important and impactful that is. From a dad’s perspective, what we want to try to do is to identify things like: should I be in a relationship? What sort of a relationship structure should I be in? Am I ready to have children? What does that look like? What types of masculinity am I engaging with? What actually is ‘masculinity’? I look at things

like co-parenting and cohabiting as an art form of that whole thing. I also look at mental and physical health, money, finances, economic chances… All of those things are all connected to the safety of your family, what does ‘family’ even mean? What happens when you have a blended family? When you divorce is that the end of your family? How do you redesign your family when separation kicks in? These are real questions that are moral challenges. We try to have an answering view on all of them. You have also written a children’s book: I Love Me! (due to be released in May 2022), so you’re not only reaching out to adults, but also children. You state that this is a very personal project and that you are trying to address mental resilience and self-love, as you also do with your own children, and to support them in a time when being Black can potentially create challenges that other children wouldn’t have to consider, and to help them so that if they do encounter any negatives, they are not internalised. Is this based on your personal experiences growing up?

It is, and I had one of those superhero mothers that covered most bases, and she had enough lines to cover all the things that were happening. There is survival coaching and then there’s the growth stage. How do you get people to understand that they are capable of doing incredible things as they are? Most of the time people believe that there is a hidden room where greatness lives, and they don’t get that it’s more a case of having faith in who you are and going forward with it, stop apologising, stop being small. With my children I create mock scenarios where I say to them: “If someone says to you that they don’t like you [ I’ll push my daughter to re-enact the scene and say: “I don’t like you!”] What would you say?” At first, she’ll be like: “I don’t like you either!” I’ll say: “Well, that’s not very accurate, and you may like them. So why don’t you say: ‘I love me, I like me.’”


TURN TO P28 to read about LGBTQ+ author, Simon James Green, and his new book


SPECIAL FEATURE Inclusion and Diversity/A Father ’s Perspective

“Things like black sheep and Black Wednesday, all these terms that are used with Blackness to connote negative things, for me, are unworkable.” Now, when I do it (I test her every couple of days) and I say: “I don’t like you” and she looks at me and goes: “Oh! Yeah! But I like me!” We call it ‘mirror talk’ in my family. If they are walking along a wall and they’re scared to jump down, when they jump and we go home, we say: “I am brave.” We tell our kids to shout out: “I am brave!” and then they jump down. This method really does land and work with them. Kids are incredible sponges and this book teaches all parents how to do it. It also works for all ages as well, it’s brilliant. What’s ironic, is parents will start doing it, and then at night they will feel good, they’ll be like: “Oh, I feel good about myself, I feel good about saying that.” I think it’s a great gateway for both parents and children as well. How can we educate children from all different backgrounds to be more inclusive in their thinking?

I think that the number one thing is addressing the TV, the toys, the dolls, the books that you are buying your children. Often there is a real Eurocentric view on the types of toys that you get. We always buy these things, dolls, for example, we always buy them, ironically, to replicate our children. Whereas, it’s way more powerful to get them to represent other people. It’s the same with boys and dolls, you give them to them to say: “Play doctor, play fireman, play teacher, play policeman.” Play any game with a role in society that is positive, and use the dolls as a guinea pig. It’s way safer than using your younger siblings, so go ahead and do it. I think that when we frame it in a healthy way, it’s really, really easy to adopt. The number one thing I think that we should all be doing is, if you’re putting up a YouTube video for a dance tutorial, question: Why am I showing them this one? For example, why don’t I try to show a woman instead of a man. I often do this with my son, who has just started using the language that: “Boys are better than girls.” 24 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | W I N T E R 2 02 1

I know where that comes from, he’s competitive, he’s like: “We’re better!” But I say: “No, no, no. This is not how it is. This is what women can do; they’re amazing!” So, I try to make all of his main influences of things, like ‘skill’, be women. As a result, he started to look at things differently, seeing the many roles that they can play. This is something which we all have got to take a proactive stance on. In the Summer 2021, you and Jess Mally started BELOVD Agency, which is a Diversity Equality Inclusion partnership that speaks on behalf of all intersections of humanity, or what you call your “pillars of intersectionality”, in order to improve their futures. How are you working through BELOVD to support this? What are your main aims?

One of the key things that I identified when we were doing educational stuff with Dope Black Dads, (we were going into schools and workplaces. It was loads of fun, we’d go and do a panel about something and everyone would clap and think, “This is great fun!”), however, I felt that there was no way to support structural change. What it meant was that it didn’t have any long-lasting legacy: I wanted to ensure that we really have a pathway for people in the workplace. For me, the work place is the number one place where you can really reach people. No matter who you are and what you do, you have to turn up with a small part of yourself being in the best part of yourself. We work with organisations to collect data, educate the whole team, change the recruitment practices, gather insights and look at all the outputs which you have as a business. If you think about Tesco, they have an incredible supply chain. They are probably making nearly a billion a week in turnover: if they just started to supply five brands that were women-owned or owned by different minorities, you change someone’s generational work. You change someone’s life on the back of that one act, that one decision to put those brands in. I think that this is something which we are asking companies to do now. To be proactive in change, as we can’t keep having this lack of equity. Our job is to be your partner, and hold your hand in doing so. We are working with many incredible businesses and we feel privileged to be able to do so.

protect, and they’re the ones that get things to the next stage. I think it’s really nice to see the female characters centralised in such a way, as those moments say, “We see you!”, and those moments need to be built upon. Black Panther is a moment and we need to build on that. We need more black superheroes too. Every time the world is ending in the US, it’s ending in Africa too. Just set it there. Recently you were awarded the ‘Influencer of the Year Award’ in the Black British Business Awards. How did this make you feel after so much hard work?

My mission is mainly focused on change. When I founded BELOVD, and I was in BELOVD, I was so excited as I knew that I could go to any organisation and run this infrastructure and strategy and that it would work. We’ve been able to make that change. At first I didn’t make much of this and then people were like, but you do have to celebrate yourself in addition to doing the work. I’m becoming more and more connected to the idea of being celebrated or honoured in any way. It feels really nice. It feels nice to be seen.

So you’re going in and offering advice on how these businesses can become more diverse and inclusive in their collaboration and work teams?

Exactly, and it’s not just about having people that look different. It’s about having people from a different class, background, gender, ethnicity, LGBTQIA+, race, religion. This helps to create an environment that is balanced, inclusive and a place where you can get the best work done. If you have people from a different background, they will add flavours that you just can’t get on your own. People that can tell the stories of these new communities which are emerging, rather than retelling the same story. There is only so many times a white male can save the world. I watched Avengers the other day and it was making my eyes itch. I was like: “How many white, male superheroes can there be?” I thought it was funny how in the last Avengers film they had this really powerful scene where the males take over the thing that they’re trying to

In our Education Choices podcast interview with Dr Sandie Okoro, General Counsel at World Bank, but she has also acted as a long time as a champion for diversity and inclusion, she discussed the use of language and that African Art was often referred to as ‘Primitive’ whereas Egyptian Art was ‘Ancient’ – do you still think that language and terminology we use still remains an issue?

I think that it does because there are a lot of people who are determined not to use the correct language for real people. I think that it becomes a problem when certain words are being misused. So, words like ‘wokism’ being used is deeply offensive as ‘woke’ is about Blackness: being aware of the things that we fund, the places where we’re shopping, which directly affect us. I don’t want to spend my money at Chiquelle when they don’t support LGBTQIA+. I don’t want to shop there. It’s not a hypersensitive mission to control everybody. Why would you pay for something, and make billionaires out of people who literally don’t respect that you live and exist as a real person. I think that that is a really important notion which everyone should be paying attention to. It has TURN TO P31 to read about Sarah Asuquo’s new book Shine celebrating diversity



SPECIAL FEATURE Inclusion and Diversity/A Father ’s Perspective

they do have an impact on me. When we then say, a ‘Black person’, there is no way that you can disconnect a Black person from all those black things, which we use as a default negative. You took part in many discussions and forums in October for Black History Month – how is this helping to improve racial equality and awareness?

I think that Black History Month is incredible because I think that it is a great way to create a milestone. I think some people see it as a performative time where everyone suddenly pretends that they care about Black people all year round. You should care about Black things and people all year round. But what we also need, in addition, is a marker in the calendar to think: “How are we improving year on year?” To hear about David Harewood’s book Maybe I Don’t Belong Here go to the podcast

What would be the fundamental piece of advice you would give to schools/ companies/ institutions in order to combat systemic racism and drive social and cultural change from within?

largely happened as most companies now have a purpose-driven approach to them. Even companies that shouldn’t really have one have tried to develop one, whether it’s clean water initiatives or plastic campaigns. They’re trying to make sure that they have a meaning. I think that it is fundamentally important. Language really does matter. It defines so much. Words become your actions, become your thoughts, become your feelings. They’re all interconnected. So when you say things, even if it’s flippantly, like: “Oh, you’re being a snowflake!’’ All of those things have an impact and can leave a negative energy in the world. I also think that it’s important to explore the way in which Blackness is represented in all walks of life. Things like black sheep and Black Wednesday, all these terms that are used with Blackness to connote negative things, for me, are unworkable. They need to be reworded and 26 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | W I N T E R 2 02 1

We need to actually talk about some of the historic events that have happened accurately. There is this real desire to hold onto the narratives that serve the white Eurocentric view that they saved and civilised the world, industrialised the world all by themselves. Even the concept of Egypt, the timing of the pyramids coincided with it being predominantly Black, we have never been taught properly. We need to learn about the Moors and what they did in Europe and how dominant they were. Potentially, there are some who don’t wish to empower these sorts of people, which is why they prevent the truth from coming out. We’re not asking for favourable narratives, we just want the truth. We just want to be able to tell our kids about what’s actually happened. We weren’t slaves, we were enslaved. It’s completely different framing. Somebody did it, you know? And people think like, it’s nothing to do with us, but if it’s nothing to do with you, why would you not heal it? Why would you not, look at ways to move forward. It’s connected to something bigger. Wherever any teacher can, decolonising your education, and de-centering on white males, on the reason that everything has happened in a positive sense. Who else played the roles of minorities in the First and

Second World Wars? It always gets overlooked. I think that the truth is empowering, it allows us to prevent it from happening again, and it also means that people are freed from this idea of themselves. We can have an incredible economy if we actually made it fairer. An incredible economy. There is so much talent that isn’t heard of, stories that haven’t been told, opportunities that haven’t been invested in, all because of these things. I think that it is really important that we start shifting. You have obviously become such a profound and leading figure in changing and challenging stereotypical male and female Black narratives, but is there anything that you are particularly proud of?

To be honest, I think we genuinely help people’s lives. I think we put money in people’s pockets, we help them emotionally, we introduce them into therapy. We have talked about many different topics which people haven’t heard directly from a Black member before. We’ve stood up for marginalised groups at every level of society. We’ve helped to normalise LGBTQIA+ dads. You


know, if you’re a queer father, Dope Black Dads is no different. We make all of these things centred in the conversation. We heavily normalise it. I can’t see it any other way, that’s my truth. I’m really proud of my ability to connect with these people and to share space with them. To hear and share their stories, to add any value to an existence whatsoever. But there is a lot more work to do. It will just be a life-long work. I don’t think it will end. I think I’ll be eighty, with a stick in my hand, waving it at some sort of building that’s oppressing people. It just is a part of my DNA, I’ve learned to accept that. I just need to make sure that I look after myself. Whenever I have the power, I will always speak of the things that move me. SPECIAL THANKS TO MARVYN HARRISON for giving up his time to speak to us about fatherhood, his work and role as a diversity and inclusion champion. www. dopeblackdads


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Simon James Green You are obviously a very successful and popular UK author with your publications receiving a huge amount of recognition. You have been shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Awards 2021, featured in Book Trust’s Great Books Guide 2021, nominated for Carnegie Medal 2020 and so many more! But what made you start writing in the first place?

For me, it all started at school. My favourite part of English lessons at school was when we were asked to write our own stories. I really enjoyed the process of coming up with characters, thinking of a plot and writing it all down. It’s something which I have loved since primary school all the way through secondary school. I loved it, but never thought it was a sensible career choice, even now. In many ways, it seems completely ridiculous, it feels like the stupidest career choice you can imagine! I think that it was always in my blood, it just took me a while to get the courage to pursue it as an actual career. You have taken on the huge but incredible responsibility of being one of the UK’s leading writers of LGBTQ+ teen fiction. What inspired you to start writing about LGBTQ+ topics? And particularly for teens and young adults?

Well, for me, when I was at school in the 1990s, Section 28 was enforced at the time, which was that piece of legislation by the Conservative government at the time, which had the effect, basically, of effectively banning LGBTQ+ books from the school libraries. So, when I was growing up there was nothing in the school library that had LGBTQ+ characters or storylines within it. That was still


enforced in schools until 2004, and so something which I was really keen to do was to try and address that and I wanted to try to be one of those people who try to get these LGBTQ+ books into schools, as I think that it is really important for them to be in there. But also, at the time that I started writing, there were quite a few US books that were dealing with LGBTQ+ characters and storylines, but there were far fewer ones set in the UK and in British secondary schools. I was really keen that we had some books out there that were a happy and positive representation of what it was like growing up as a gay kid today in secondary school. That was really important to me. I loved the idea of writing something funny and bringing out the awkward humour of it. It was really important to me as I felt strongly that it shouldn’t just be tragedy, angst and homophobia. Unfortunately, all of those things are still prevalent and do happen, but there is another side to the story as well, and I feel that it is really important that that side of the story is told, I think. What is really exciting is that you have a new book called Sleepover Takeover being published on the 6th January 2022. Can you tell us a little bit more about it?

In Sleepover Takeover you’ll meet 11 year old Otis. He’s a classic kind of underdog kid in Year 6, you know, he’s only really got one friend, and out of the blue he gets an invitation to the birthday party of the century from classmate Rocco Rococo, who is this rich kid who has the best birthday parties which take place in this massive marquee in his gardens. He’s got everything in there: ten pin bowling, a video arcade, all sorts of

entertainments and entertainers, food carts with a global cuisine, it’s completely epic, totally magical and Otis can’t believe it. Anyway, he enjoys himself, then wakes up the following morning to a scene of complete devastation: there is a donkey drinking out of the chocolate fountain; there are doves flying all around the marquee; there is a suitcase of sausages on the floor; a giant inflatable sausage hovering above; Otis is wearing a wedding dress; and poor Rocco has the word ‘loser’ tattooed on his forehead. But apart from all the mayhem, what’s even more weird is that nobody can remember what on earth happened last night and how all this crazy stuff ended up in the marquee. Rocco and Otis, basically, are forced to reluctantly team up and try and solve the mystery, work out what happened, where all this stuff came from, and that’s how this all kicks off, basically, so it’s a real, mad-cap mystery adventure!

“I was really keen that we had some books out there that were a happy and positive representation of what it was like growing up as a gay kid today in secondary school. That was really important to me.”

In this new book you also speak about it being a story about the final months of Year 6 and finding your friends before you start secondary school. In my consultancy we have a lot of Year 6 children who are sitting some fairly tricky exams and interviews, and you go on to really address this. Is there a particular reason why you chose this age or transitional point in school life?

I just remember myself in that Year 6 moving into Year 7 time; that leaving primary and going into secondary school. I remember that there was a mix of excitement and feeling quite grown up about it, but also lots of stuff made me anxious and scared about what the future held, and I’d heard all of these horrific stories of what secondary school was about, and how mean the bigger kids could be, and there were all sorts of kind of urban legends about it circulating - and it was really quite frightening. I really wanted to write a story about a group of kids who were just at that kind of point. Sleepover Takeover happens in June of the school year, right at the end of Year 6, and so they are about to move on. Otis is dealing with all of this, and is wondering what September holds, and he finds out early on in the book that his best and only friend is actually going to be going to a different school in September. He starts off by thinking that he is going to have nobody at all to look out for him at secondary school, he is going to be all alone in this scary, huge building, and wonders: what is he going to do? EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | WI NT ER 2021 | 29



“Laughter is such a great thing, it makes us all feel better. I think that after the last couple of years we’ve all experienced, there’s no better time and more need to laugh and feel better about ourselves.” I wanted to talk about how important it is, I think, to find your squad, as it were, your group of friends, and to make sure that those are people who like you and love you for being you, and learning to keep them close. That idea of friendship and being together is one of the best ways, I think, of transitioning from Year 6 to Year 7, and of transitioning through life in general. I think it’s very important to keep that core group of friends close to you and to help each other out, I think, is really important. Quite a lot of the book is about Otis realising that you can’t always take people at face value, and what or who you think they are. During the course of the book, Otis discovers that the people he thought that he normally would really

dislike and not want to be friends with are actually really great people, and vice versa. Apart from this, are there any other pieces of advice or anything else you want your audience to take away from the book after they read it?

Yeah, I think the power of comedy and the importance of laughter. I think it’s really important and so often is overlooked, especially in children’s books unfortunately. Laughter is such a great thing, it makes us all feel better. I think that after the last couple of years we’ve all experienced, there’s no better time and more need to laugh and feel better about ourselves. I think that reading for pure pleasure is a really valuable and important thing just in itself, and that’s what I was really trying to achieve with Sleepover Takeover. It’s basically an ‘all out’ comedy that I hope would be really fun to read! CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST TURN TO P20 to read about Marvyn Harrison’s new book Dope Black Dads which includes LGTBQIA+

Lifting Limits Challenging gender stereotypes in primary schools

Gender stereotyping limits lives, bombarding children from birth with messages about suitable toys, clothes, roles, books, language and appearance according to gender, feeding attitudes towards gender which become ingrained by the

age of 10. Even in schools, stereotypes persist (often unnoticed) in the curriculum, books, displays, language and assumptions. At a critical stage in children’s learning about the world, and evolving expectations of their place in it, stereotypes shape children’s choices and aspirations – with lifelong effects. In order to improve outcomes for both sexes across a range of areas (from prolific sexual violence and the gender pay gap to boys’ relative under-achievement in literacy and high rates of male suicide), early intervention is crucial. That is why Lifting Limits works with primary schools,


using an extensive programme of training and resources to support school staff to recognise where gender stereotypes exist in the school environment and to equip their pupils to challenge stereotyping wherever they encounter it. Our vision is that every child be free to pursue their own path in life, unconstrained by the limiting effects of gendered stereotyping. CAREN GESTETNER, Chief Executive of Lifting Limits. Lifting Limits is a charity with a mission to challenge gender stereotyping and promote gender equality, in and through education. To find out more about our work visit


Shining a Light Diversity in Children’s Literature It was November 2017 when my employer at the time shared with members of staff a company who were offering our school an exclusive promotion for purchases from their Christmas catalogue. The English teacher (and bargain hunter) in me saw this as a perfect opportunity to purchase some books for my nieces and nephews for their Christmas presents… because books are great presents for kids, I promise! Even if they don’t realise this when they first open them and they are overcome with sadness that Aunty Sarah bought them books yet again instead of the toys they had asked for, causing them to cry in protest, unapologetically throwing the collection to the ground because they read enough books at school. Honestly, children are the cutest, most precious souls!... However, whilst searching this catalogue’s book section, I could not find a single book that included a character who was black or belonged to an ethnic minority. I decided to search on some of the major book retailers’ websites and had a similar problem; the options were limited. This led me to reflect on the books I read as a child and although I still love so many of them (We’re Going on a Bear Hunt still lives in my mind rent free)! They did not reflect me or the multicultural society I was raised in. This inspired me to write a book myself. A book that I wanted my nieces and nephews to be inspired by. A book with a message that I believe all children should learn at a young age. A book I wish I had when I was a child, and one month later, Shine was born. Shine tells the story of a young boy whose confidence is lowered when he is teased for being different. However, with the help of his parents, he realises that the things that make him different are the things that make him special. He makes the decision to use his unique qualities to ‘shine his light’. The response to Shine has been overwhelming. It is currently being read in primary schools across the country to help teach children about

bullying, self-confidence and celebrating diversity. It has also inspired me to write more and last year, I released my second book: a novella for teenagers entitled Breeze. As I reflect on the last three years, I am hopeful. The diversity in children’s literature is steadily increasing. Schools and media outlets are making a conscious effort to promote diverse literature amongst children, with books reflecting diversity in race, religion and disability. It’s amazing to see and I’m a tad bit proud that I have made my small contribution to this change. SARAH ASUQUO


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Lancing College Choir Choral excellence from over 55 pupils Many of our Choristers have been part of a choir at their previous schools, and a significant number have joined from cathedral schools such as St Paul’s, Salisbury, Westminster, Ely and Exeter. New pupils will also join the Choir when they arrive in the Sixth Form. Being a full time Chorister involves two main rehearsals per week of 30 minutes each for the Full Choir, which sings at the school Eucharist every Wednesday morning. The Choir is also invited to sing at other venues such as Chichester Cathedral and St Georges, Windsor. Additionally, there is an opportunity to join the Choral Scholars – a chamber choir drawn

from members of the Full Choir. Our Choristers enjoy an array of opportunities – not only are they able to rehearse and sing in the largest school chapel in the world, but many other avenues are available to all pupils who enjoy singing: for example, Student Voices is open to anyone, and joins with the adult College Singers once per year to sing in a largescale choral concert; the terrific A Cappella Club sings arrangements of pop songs; singers who enjoy music theatre can audition for the school musical; and many singers join a band in the Rock Music

Workshops. After Lancing, many of our Choristers move on to achieve a chorister scholarship at prestigious universities such as Oxford and Cambridge, and many others will continue to sing in the OL Choir at special events. TURN TO P50 to read about ‘Getting Cozy’ this winter…


Chloe Abbott

Educational Consultant • Introductory meeting to get to know your family and your child/children • Assessment when required to establish your child’s levels • School advice for both primary and secondary in the London area and beyond • Support and advice on suitable school choices • Booster sessions in key exam skills

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Managing safeguarding and mental health in a pandemic Riverston School are addressing the mental health of their children post the pandemic

Safeguarding underpins all aspects of school life. It’s implications on a child’s learning and social and emotional development are without question far reaching. Developing a robust culture of vigilance and awareness is vital. Staff must understand that all concerns, no matter how small, should be raised and examined within their wider context. Safeguarding in a Special Educational Needs setting is particularly complex. Parenting styles that would normally be acceptable and common place with a neurotypical child can be cause for concern when a student has more complex needs. Meeting the needs of a young person with SEN often requires parents and carers to robustly support every aspect of their child’s life. These children are often unable

to look after themselves in the way your average teenager can, and so safeguarding concerns can quickly escalate from seemingly fairly innocuous circumstances. Mental health is fast becoming the biggest safeguarding issue in young people. The lockdowns and continuing spectre of COVID hanging over us have meant that anxiety levels are sky-high. As students settle back into the routine of school we are now starting to see mental health issues take hold. Many have lost the safe feelings that the predictably of pre-COVID life brought. The loss of certainty is one of our biggest casualties. The realization that things can suddenly change in an instant


and everything we have come to know as normal can be pulled out from underneath us in a second. The biggest challenge for safeguarding in schools today, is trying to contain the loss of control we all feel, and so make our young people feel safe again. In a school that has children with autism, who desperately need security, safety and predictability, that is easier said than done. As both their external and internal worlds of structure and order start to erode, so does their ability to remain grounded and feel safe. Intrusive thoughts, low mood and anxiety-driven meltdowns are common place, school avoidance is on the rise and those who have historically struggled with social integration have taken ten steps backwards. The challenge is huge, and requires us to collectively see safeguarding as more than just identifying neglect, or managing a sensitive disclosure. We have to identify those intrinsic areas where children have lost out in their social and emotional growth. It is these intangible skills and coping strategies that are now underdeveloped, and so risk preventing young people from becoming adults able to effectively engage with the world around them. GUY BAKER Director of Welfare and Wellbeing & Designated Safeguarding Lead at Riverston School


‘Excellent in every category’ LAST ISI INSPECTION

Visit the V I RTUA L OP EN DAY on our website Our Values: An education for life 01932 869001 Sandy Lane, Cobham Surrey KT11 2ES Founded 1813 Patron: HM The Queen HMC Day & Boarding School for boys 11-18 and girls 16-18


What are schools here for? St Edward’s School stresses the importance of wellbeing when supporting students The values, attitudes and attributes we are now embedding into our curricular and cocurricular life are enabling our students, we hope, to become selfaware, adaptable, collaborative, resilient and intellectually curious. So, what a good school needs to do is support its students, ensuring they get into the right patterns of organisation, independent and critical thinking, as well as being reflective on all aspects of their lives. But we need to not only be thinking about the content that needs to be covered, but also the conditions in which staff and students teach and learn. This revolves around our environment, the relationships we have, the culture and values of a school and, of course: wellbeing. Wellbeing refers to many things, but at its core it




the Gold Standard in education


is about purpose, belonging and a sense of self and hope. Martin Seligman’s PERMA theory of wellbeing outlines those things that allow us to live well: Positive Emotions, Engagement in a task, Relationships, Meaning and Accomplishments. So, we can draw together learning and wellbeing and argue that they are integrated seamlessly. COVID-19 has been much mentioned as causing many concerns in areas such as education, isolation, financial distress and mental wellbeing. The issue of mental and physical health has always been on the radar in schools, but the last 18 months have brought it front and centre for us all. And, if the last 18 months have taught us anything, it is the relational, social and community value of schools and classrooms. We are now experiencing the best parental attendance at our sports fixtures and coffee mornings, and the greatest number of clubs and societies being attended by our students, as well as the number of activities offered by our staff increasing. Those of us who have been involved in education for some time already knew about the interconnected nature of wellness, resilience and connection to the world, but now when we talk about being well, we are talking not only about physical, mental and emotional wellness, but also learning, success and fulfillment. It is time to no longer think of learning and wellbeing as separate because they are both so clearly linked. MATTHEW BURKE, PRINCIPAL

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The Wellington College Competition for Chemistry has been launched! Naomi and Ollie discuss the motivation behind their competition and some tips for success Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of speaking to two Sixth Form students from Wellington College: Naomi Tengn and Ollie Tomlino. Currently both preparing for their A Levels this Summer, Naomi and Ollie have also made a bold decision to create a national Chemistry competition referred to as The Wellington College Competition for Chemistry. The competition is open to students across the country who are in Years 11 and 12 (ages 15 to 17 years old) and wish to further their passion and curiosity for Chemistry. The essay competition requires applicants to write 2000 words from a choice of the following two questions: 1. How has chemistry helped the way in which we have combated the Covid-19 pandemic?

2. What is chemistry’s most significant role in fighting climate change?

Naomi and Ollie recognise that despite Chemistry being known as the ‘central science’, it is often taught to students within a classroom context in comparison to other STEM subjects that are applied more generously to real-life events and scenarios. Similarly, they believe that the fundamental role Chemistry plays in day-to-day problems is often underrepresented and overlooked by the media or the government and its politicians. As a consequence, Ollie reflects that “often the younger generations don’t understand how important and fundamental Chemistry is within problem-solving throughout the world.” In asking


applicants to discuss these questions, Naomi and Ollie’s goal is to introduce students to a side of Chemistry that exists outside of the school textbook and school curriculum; to raise awareness of Chemistry when applied to contemporary issues. Although focusing on the two key issues of climate change and Covid-19, especially with the new Omicron variant, the questions are designed to give enough scope for individual creativity and exploration of such subjects. Consequently, Ollie and Naomi hope to receive submissions that are innovative in their arguments, yet substantiated in scientific articles and scholarly work (some recommendations being JSTOR and Google Scholar). They stress that it is not supposed to be a case study of current or previous scientific work, but that it is a rare opportunity for students to conduct independent research and take a particular perspective or approach to a problem that they are passionate about, and is original to them. To this degree, Naomi and Ollie note that the Chemistry behind your answer does not have to be perfectly accurate! As markers of the competition, both Wellington College pupils have also expressed a desire to learn from the essays. The best to impress Naomi, Ollie and their team, is given the chance to undergo work experience in a lab at Leicester University: an opportunity that is extremely valuable and hard to find amidst a global pandemic. So, go on! Deadline: Monday 3 January 2022, 11:59pm. Email submissions to: chemistrycompetition@ TURN TO P43 to read about SOAS and their contribution to COP26




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The power of a values-led school to create a better future South Bank University Academy have a vision for the future Many schools have a specialism, normally related to a subject: ‘a specialist maths college’ or ‘a science and technology specialist school’. At South Bank University Academy, until last year, we were part of this club with our own specialism in engineering. However, the message this was projecting to our local community bore very little resemblance to the reality of our school. So, as a staff body we reflected on our own personal values and why we worked in this school. What was our vision for the school we wanted to be? We serve a diverse community in which many families face a plethora of barriers that prevent them and their children from living a fulfilling and rewarding life. For them the world is not a fair place and the status quo is not good enough. This reality was reflected in the values of the 100 staff in the school. We looked for common threads and derived a vision and a set of school values that we all believed in. Our vision:

Our students gain knowledge, build character and have the experiences that lead them to be the changemakers in their world; living a good life and improving the lives of others. They will create a better future. Our values: S ocial justice

Achieving - this is about ensuring equity, diversity and inclusion in access and participation.

K indness and Empathy

We try to understand others’ perspectives and meet them where they are. We approach all our interactions from a position of goodwill. E ndeavour

We expect and recognise effort and perseverance from staff and students. C ommunity

We aim to be a driver of community cohesion where we live in each other’s lives and understand the circumstances and perspectives of each individual. We want our students to have a real sense of belonging in our school and work in partnership with parents in the development of their children. It has never been more important to equip our young people to be guided by strong, positive values, to be positive citizens and to secure a strong future in an uncertain world. This


is also evident in our distinctive, enriched curriculum which is designed to support our students in developing high levels of social and cultural capital regardless of their background or family circumstances. We are serious about our students becoming changemakers in their world and intentionally train them how they could do this. We are now looking further outwards, seeking to be a driver of community cohesion, building partnerships and engagements locally and beyond. We are already working with partners to begin to deliver adult education and employability skills, and working with businesses to understand and help address their own skills gaps. John Taylor, Principal, South Bank University Academy. TURN TO P46 to read about LSBU Croydon


Don’t forget about the Children The children will not know of how it felt: To live when fires and floods were rarely known. Instead, they watch their ice creams drip and melt, Their future falls, the world is stripped to bone.

If we don’t dissolve our desire for dominance. We will never overcome this climate challenge. Cooperation must be our new creation. Designed to save our dilapidating habitation.

Who will write of our greatest extinction? How penguins and the polar bears are myth, Like a unicorn or a hippogriff?

In your local supermarket the carrots cry in claustrophobia. Bound by different forms of polymer. My trolley crackles as I move and it formsA crappy and cynical plastic song.

Pingu is not first to swim away: To try to escape catastrophic life. We have born a new kind of migration, The animals seek a safer habitation. And we sit, munching up fuel Whilst they try to swim across a nation. We indulge in our cellulite whilst they’re left fight: For that last ounce of flesh. We regress, rolling around in a Range Rover. Thinking, this is comfort, this is luxury, this is life. But I ask you, what luxury is it to see the world in pain? What comfort do you take in starving others? Your malevolent machine moves you closer to our planet’s destruction, Nothing more. You have arrived at your destination. We have reached catastrophe. Our planet has turned into a crimson orb. It is on all the maps you see in the news but still you fail to absorb. Now. Now is the time to put down our phones. To take a look at the problems we face. You forget that there is no such thing as “money”. It’s a value invented to fuel our hierarchy. But what about life? Surely that’s more important?

When will we see change? Instead of letting it all wash over us like the sea washes over… Fifty nine seconds spent staring blankly. Blown away by Britain’s Boris Johnson! He flipped a coin behind his crooked back. Our leader did not recall Greta’s facts. This world needs action, demands a reactionNot a coin tossed into the Trevi Fountain. A child might wish for a brighter future… But you are not children, you have position. And your obsession with politics pollutes our condition. I thought we were designed for survival. But our kind is corrupted by a selfish mind. We can’t hit rewind or reverse ticked time… But we can combat our copious crimes To fight the crisis that’s corrupting lives. Because it is corrupting lives. You’ll ignore this. Just like you ignore the BBC or the Guardian. You read and think: “What a shame the world is in such a state.” You accept defeat, you accept the blame. Yet no one appears to want to actually change. It’s as if we take pleasure in our own demise and other’s pain. You cannot redefine the deadlines set. We’ve been drowning in false “final” promises from the government... Once more, I ask all of you to: Please protect our planet, All our lives depend on it. Think of the children. Anonymous



World changers Bristol students headed to COP26 climate conference

Carlos Shanks, left, and Emily Muir

University of Bristol students at COP26 stated that the conference was “one of the very last chances” to avert a climate disaster. Fortyfive Bristol students were in Glasgow for the global event, where world leaders thrashed out solutions to the climate crisis from October 31 to November 12. The students took part in events, shared ideas and joined others in calling for change. Six of the students received funding to stay in Glasgow all week, where they communicated their experience to the world through blogs, videos, photos and articles. The other 39 were given free travel to the event. Carlos Shanka, a third year biology student and President of the Bristol University Sustainability Team, stated: “It is now or never. We young people have created incredible momentum. I have met world leaders at COY16 [the youth equivalent of COP26] and COP26 so far, and they provide my last spring of hope for the future. We

have come together from all parts of the world and, unlike global leaders, we are joining forces to tackle the biggest hazard facing our world: climate change. I see COP26 as one of the very last chances we have to stop our world’s turning point. Are we going to let people in 2050 say that we failed?”

Funding for the six students came from Cabot Institute for the Environment and the University’s generous alumni community. Bristol SU paid for the students’ bus travel. Emily Muir, a third year geography student, stated: “At COP26, we are aiming to have our voices heard, as well as hearing and acting on the voices of those heavily affected by climate change yet have been systemically and historically ignored, such as indigenous communities. The People’s Summit for Climate Justice is working to organise system change together, this presents an alternative to COP negotiations which can be unfairly


handled by corporations with outside interests.” Claire Adamson, who is studying for a Masters in Law stated: “Climate change has been talked about heavily since Greta Thunberg’s infectious determination spread around the world a few years ago. Now, though, COP26 must be about action. Finding bold and innovative solutions for businesses, governments and consumers to enforce at all levels to mitigate a worldwide, irrevocable disaster is now the focus.

There are a growing number of environmental activists worldwide, which is brilliant, but it isn’t enough to talk about all things climate change as fascinating as it is.” The Cabot Institute is a community of 600 experts, united by a common cause: protecting the environment and identifying ways of living better with a changing planet.


Implementing change Informing parliamentarians on climate change The Influencing Corridors of Power (ICOP) project was established by a team of students and staff from SOAS (University of London) with the aim of bringing researchers and Government closer together. SOAS has a longstanding tradition of political engagement and student activism. The ICOP briefings help to inform Government and Parliamentary debate, and makes university research more immediately relevant in shaping policy decisions on the most important contemporary issues facing the world. Topics covered by the ICOP briefings have ranged from Freedom of Speech to Covid-19, the situation in Afghanistan to

Immigration in the UK, and most recently Climate Change. Recent briefings have examined: ‘Community-led energy solutions as the future of just and clean energy transitions’; ‘Debt relief for a green and inclusive recovery’; and ‘How the Bank of England must act on the climate crisis’. At the recent COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow, SOAS students contributed to a policy paper calling for the UK government to look beyond its current ambition of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 in order to encourage a global transition towards net zero. SOAS offers the module

Where everything connects Discover the range of exciting undergraduate degree programmes available to study either online or at our vibrant central London campus.

Environment and Climate Crisis on its BA International Relations and BA Politics degrees, and a wide range of related postgraduate and online degrees from its Centre for Development, Environment and Policy, Centre for Sustainable Finance and Centre of Law, Environment and Development.


‘Life-changing’ scholarship for refugees and asylum seekers grows The University of Bristol changes lives as it expands its Sanctuary Scholarship A scholarship that gives refugees and asylum seekers life-changing access to University education has been expanded, the University of Bristol has announced. Since it launched in 2016 more than 50 students who could not otherwise have gone to University have been able to study thanks to the Sanctuary Scholarship. Scholars get degree funding, pastoral care, careers advice and free sports passes. Scholars have joined the scheme from Syria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Iran, among others. Thanks to the University of Bristol’s generous alumni community, philanthropic funding to the Sanctuary Scholarships will double to at least £100,000 per year, making space for three* more scholars. The University is anticipating an increase in applications over the coming year, precipitated by more natural disasters and events like the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. Professor Judith Squires, Provost and Deputy Vice Chancellor, said: “We know the power of education to transform lives, particularly for those who lack the means to go to university. Record numbers are currently displaced around the world, which means organisations must do more than ever

to help those in need. Many asylum seekers and refugees have huge potential but simply do not have the means to seek education. We are hugely proud to be expanding the Sanctuary Scholarship, just weeks after our Black Bristol Scholarship Programme launched in earnest.” Accessing education is difficult for asylum seekers and refugees. Asylum-seeking students are not permitted to work, cannot access maintenance or tuition loans and receive £37.37 per week to support themselves. Those with refugee status must rebuild their lives in unfamiliar countries, often with limited resources and support networks. “My life totally changed that day!”

Taina Maneus came to the UK from Haiti in 2014, aged 16. She remembers growing up around endemic gang violence, corruption and political instability. She “cried with joy” when she learnt her application to the scholarship was successful. “My life totally changed that day,” Taina recalls. “Before that – growing up in Haiti then being a refugee in care in the UK – I had no control over my life. I felt sub-human, like I was living outside of society. With the scholarship I could finally decide how to live my life – I could finally see a future.” Taina began a degree in Law and was immediately taken by “beautiful” Bristol and the support the University provided. She is now studying for a Masters in Law at the University of York. Afterwards she hopes to become a lawyer, perhaps specialising in financial crimes, before helping fellow Haitians to access education. “I’m so grateful to the University and everyone who makes the scholarship possible – it really did change my life,” she said. To find out more about the scholarship and to apply to join next year’s cohort follow this link. TURN TO P40 to read about the London South Bank Academy



Scholarship boost Legal minds of the future Three future lawyers have been awarded a scholarship that promotes equality and opportunity for all students. A progression agreement between the University of Chester and The University of Law has led to law students Charlotte Watson, Jake Bedford and Chadrac Sangani receiving a share of the generous University of Law Future Lawyers Scholarship. The £16,250 funding pot is aimed at levelling up access to ULaw programmes for students or graduates who are either underrepresented in Higher Education or disadvantaged. The trio of graduates each received £5,416. Charlotte stated: “The scholarship relieves the pressure of funding and allows me to concentrate on my Legal Practice Course and Master’s in Law as well as learning as much as I can from my job.” Jake said: “It shows that my hard work has paid off and it will relieve some of the financial stressors associated with Higher Education, allowing me to focus on my course.” Chadrac added: “It tells me I am seen as having potential for the future of our society and being

Charlotte Watson; Jake Bedford; Chadrac Sangani

appreciated by the University.” Ruth Sutton, Head of Law at Chester Law School, said: “This partnership not only provides our students and graduates with fantastic progression opportunities in the legal field, but it also enhances collaborative working within the legal education in Chester and the wider region.” Amanda Hedayati, Dean of ULaw’s Chester campus added: “This is an exciting partnership for us with an institution that shares our commitment to championing talent and supporting equality of opportunity into the legal profession.”

Offering students a financial education Arden University looks to help students get online through hardship fund As part of an ongoing commitment to encouraging further access and increased participation, Arden University will re-invest funds to target certain areas of student need, including those in financial hardship and digital poverty, as well as offering further assistance to all students in the form of financial education. A Financial Support Bursary Scheme Fund, supporting UK students faced with unexpected costs and struggling to engage digitally, is set to be launched in the new year to help finance necessary laptops and broadband access, and will sit alongside the upcoming launch of a Financial Education Tool, powered through

Blackbullion. The tool aims to develop a financial education by assisting in setting students up with the skills and tools for budgeting and planning, as well as providing information around key topics such as cryptocurrency, working while studying, and funding

support, as they move through their studies. This will also be available to International students and Arden employees who may be interested in hints and tips on different aspects of finance. This launch also coincides with that of Arden’s new Students’ Association which aims to deliver dedicated representation for the student voice. The Association’s inaugural president, Vishi Singh, comes with a rich background of delivering support and guidance to students and he will lead on developing the Association’s offering for Arden students worldwide.



Introducing the new LSBU Croydon campus The LSBU Group has a powerful mission to transform lives Croydon may not be the first name that comes to mind when it comes to the most exciting places to live, though it is a place with a rich and fascinating history. The town long served as the second home for Archbishops of Canterbury, with five buried at Addington Palace. King Henry VIII courted Croydon resident Catherine of Aragon and often stayed at the Old Palace. More recently, Croydon served as the UK’s first airport, with numerous world record-breaking flights

taking off there. Now in 2021, it continues to be an innovative place to live. With a thriving cultural scene, independent shops and cafes, blossoming tech start-ups and major corporation HQs, it is going places. London South Bank University has opened a brand new campus at Electric House, a wonderful art deco landmark building in the centre of the town. This campus is designed to support the next generation of healthcare heroes. With state of the art simulated facilities and clinics, its nursing and chiropractic students are able to replicate real life wards and practice, helping to tackle a very real shortage of NHS staff across South London and the Gatwick Triangle. The university also brings its extensive knowledge in business and accounting, supported by local employers large and small, to give students access to the range of knowledge and skills to access high value careers in the sector. The LSBU Croydon campus has been designed very differently


to most universities, with flexible learning spaces, advanced teaching methods, personalised learning support, integrated technology, and students involved in design decisions. The staff teams are building a diverse range of local collaborations. For example, the soon to launch Solutions Centre will offer business and professional advice to local start-ups and microbusinesses, while students will take part in Hackathons to give creative, research-driven inputs into real problems in the local area. A new sensory suite will support Mental Health Nursing students in developing new approaches to in-patient care, while the only university chiropractic facility in London includes a patient-facing clinic. LSBU Group has a powerful mission to transform lives, businesses and society through applied education and insight. The group includes apprenticeship provision, further education and schools, with South Bank UTC already taking part in educating the next generation of future healthcare specialists in a Croydon school. The group is piloting a programme to simplify the route into a career in nursing, providing a pathway through the group into LSBU’s degrees and into partner NHS trusts. Expect to see a range of collaborations to serve the communities in and around Croydon as well as to boost the town’s energy and dynamism. We hope to see you there! RICHARD FENN, Director of LSBU Croydon and Dan Cundy, Executive Principal South Bank Academies Group /study-at-lsbu/croydon TURN TO P52 to find out about Surrey School options


Myths and misconceptions surround deafness On the day you read this, three children will be born deaf. Three more will enter the world hearing, but then go deaf during childhood. In addition, for every six babies delivered today, one will go deaf or live with a hearing loss in adulthood. Deafness is quite rare in children, but it affects a sixth of the adult population. It’s also widely misunderstood. We certainly found this when we surveyed adults across Britain. One in five thought most deaf children go to deaf schools – the real number is 3%. Over a third said hearing aids would help deaf children to hear as well as hearing children, but in reality no technology can ‘fix’ deafness and many would still need ongoing support. More troubling was that over a third said there were ‘lots of jobs’ you can’t do if you’re deaf, when in fact it’s just a handful. Around 15% said deaf children were less intelligent and would never be allowed to drive.

Neither is true. Countless parents tell us their deaf child is underestimated. Many don’t get the support they need at school, which is why they achieve a grade less than hearing children at GCSE. They frequently miss out on career advice, or it’s delivered in a way that’s completely inaccessible for them. Bluntly put, deaf children are often held back by the limited aspirations others hold for them. Clearly, this must change and we’ve been lobbying the Government for years to put more support in place. We also have a national campaign, Deaf Works Everywhere, to raise aspirations for deaf young people and get more of them into the careers they want. Now most people can’t singlehandedly persuade the Government to open its chequebook, just like we can’t. But everyone can help with something else. Parents also tell us that their

deaf child gets left out, leaving them isolated and lonely because of a lack of deaf awareness. Deaf children are just the same as hearing children – curious, enthusiastic, eager to be involved and keen to make friends. So here are some deaf awareness tips for the next time you meet a deaf child. A full list is on our website, but if everyone remembers at least these three, it’ll make a big difference.


What’s the real story?

1. Ask them how they communicate – deaf children communicate in different ways. They know what works for them and taking the time to ask will mean a lot. 2. Face them whenever you’re talking – almost all deaf children rely on lip reading and facial expressions. 3. Never say “It doesn’t matter!” or “I’ll tell you later” – if it was worth saying, they want to hear it too. Take the time to make sure they’re included.


ROSIE EGGLESTON, Participation Manager at the National Deaf Children’s Society TURN TO P20 to read about Marvyn Harrison and a father’s perspective



Help! When is it needed most? Samaritans Step by Step service has many years of experience in supporting schools, colleges and universities in the aftermath of the death by suspected suicide of a student or member of staff. Support has also been provided for school communities following the death by suicide of a parent – and has also been given to a range of youth groups. Many headteachers and senior leaders, even experienced ones, have never found themselves in this circumstance before. The service aims to support whoever is managing the situation, by being available by phone, e-mail, Zoom or in person to answer questions, give advice and hold debrief sessions. This usually involves discussions on issues such as: “How, when and where is it best to break the news to staff, students and parents?”, “how do we do all that we can to prevent contagion (copycatting)?”; “what is the best way to make support available to students and colleagues who are deeply affected by what has happened?”; “what about liaison with the family of the deceased?”; “how do we deal with enquiries from the media?”; “is it appropriate to establish some sort of memorial?” All these – and many more – questions can be responded to by Samaritans experienced and specially trained team of Step by Step Advisors. The service, which is free of charge, can be contacted on 0808 168 2528 by any educational establishment.


Key Samaritans facts  E very day, Samaritans volunteers respond to

around 10,000 calls for help.  S amaritans has 201 local branches across the UK and Ireland.  I n 2020 Samaritans volunteers spent over one million hours responding to calls for help.  I t’s the public’s kind donations and more than 20,000 volunteers than mean Samaritans is always there offering non-judgemental support for anyone struggling to cope.  W e work in communities, prisons, schools, hospitals, at festivals, and with partners to support people.  A nyone can contact Samaritans FREE any time from any phone on 116 123, even a mobile without credit. This number won’t show up on your phone bill.

Or you can email or visit


Surrey house prices expected to rise by 10.4 per cent in next five years Savills reveals latest research Mainstream house prices throughout Surrey and the South East are expected to grow by 10.4 per cent over the next five years – with an increase of three per cent in 2022, according to latest research. New figures from estate agents Savills show the average cost of a home in the region is predicted to rise to £485,553 by 2026 compared to the current average of £439,813. The increase is slightly less than that forecast for the UK as a whole, with prices expected to rise by 13.1 per cent over the next five years and by 3.5 per cent in 2022. It means the average cost of a home in the UK would increase from an average of £327,838 to £370,785 by 2026. At the higher end of the market – broadly the top five to 10 per cent by value – prices in the region are predicted to grow by 19.3 per cent over the next five years and by four per cent in 2022. Steven Stokes, who leads the residential sales team at Savills in Reigate, said while there was likely to be a less frenetic market next year, demand for property in popular towns and villages looked set to continue. He states: “After such intensity in the market and without the imperative of a stamp duty holiday, we know it’s likely to be less frenetic from 2022,” he said. “As a result, coupled with the first anticipated interest rate rise, our researchers expect price growth in the near term to be somewhat more muted than we have seen of late. However, the number of homes coming to the market has also been constrained and this – combined with relatively low unemployment rates and a robust economic performance coming out of a recession – means we simply expect to see softer growth rather than prices falling. It’s also worth bearing in mind that Surrey has experienced above average increases in house price growth for the past decade or more – so it’s perhaps no surprise to see other parts of the UK now catching up. That said, the regional increases we are predicting remain greater than those forecast for properties in London, while we still expect changes in working patterns to underpin demand in more rural areas,

Applecroft, in Buckland (guide price £800,000)

Leyfields, in Chipstead (guide price £1,800,000)

albeit to a lesser degree than over the past 18 months.” Commenting on the Surrey property market in the New Year he states: “With its connectivity to London, excellent schooling, variety of high quality housing stock and access to lots of green space and open countryside, Surrey has always been – and will continue to be – a popular choice for a wide number of buyers. A shortage of available properties on the market also means that homes in the most popular towns and villages will continue to be in high demand. There will always be areas that buck the trend and perform better than the wider forecasts. However, setting a realistic asking price from the start will be key to maintaining momentum as we move into the New Year.”



Winter Magic Galuchat Design celebrates ‘getting cozy’ over the coming months...

As leaves stop falling, I wonder when snow is arriving, marking the real start of that favourite festive winter season? No matter the politics, trials and tribulations of our current topsy-turvy world, there is nothing like a breath of fresh, crisp air, a thickly laden cottony sky, to open the mind and conjure up warm, fuzzy feelings of escape to higher summits. Yes, if all goes well, for some of us, the mountain is calling and the hills will be alive again with the sound of laughter and abandon. Winter holiday magic is a matter of contrasts.

libations and oozy rich cheese in all possible guises. And pause. Time to reflect, take stock. Enjoy. Just be. The backdrop to such moments is key. We look for comfort and softness, in a framework of reassuring solidity. We want cushy sofas, furry blankets, velvet armchairs, padded headboards, thick marshmallow duvets and woolly curtains, all enhanced by the golden hues of a well-tended fire, subtle lighting, suggestive shadows. We want sturdy, aged wood, knots and veins telling stories of ancient forests, calloused hands crafting shelter

Is there anything more delightful, after a thrilling, chilling downhill run, than a warm pause by a blazing fire, igniting your insides with cocoa or mulled wine? Can there be a starker contrast than the heady vastness of sparkling mountain below you and snowy sky above you, compared to the dense, paved streets, peppered with human beings, buildings and vehicles, left behind only a few hours ago? We ask of our winter breaks that they bring escape and change. Challenging us physically, with athletic feats, daredevil stunts, robust hikes and dizzying heights, braving elements and endurance. Rewarding us physically, with soothing massages, hot tubs, sweet 50 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | W I N T E R 2 02 1

for weary travellers. We want noble slate, granite and wrought iron, recalling age-old traditions and trade secrets, passed on, perfected over time, allowing their patina to shield you as you surrender, shedding all of the last few months’, years’, weight off your shoulders. And if hopping on a metal bird to escape to these mountainous

“Create little pockets of flickering delight with clusters of candles, on a mantelpiece, table, window sill or radiator cover… Layering light is one of the most effective techniques to create drama and personality.”

heavenly havens is not on the cards for you, why can you not recreate the same atmosphere at home? You can cast an eye on a room that has seen you do accounts, Pilates and ironing and, with small tweaks, transform it, while giving yourself licence to escape within your own home. If you are ambitious, but not overly so, you could invest in some wallpaper, of the selfadhesive or peel-off kind, if a more permanent solution is too daunting – and redefine a key wall or two. It takes hardly any time at all to install - I still strongly recommend asking a professional decorator to install it for you but the labour cost is minimal for

such easy-to-apply material while the effect will exceed your expectations. If that feels too onerous, redefine the room in question. Add some light sources so as to create additional mood options. A floor lamp with a directional head provides indirect lighting, towards the ceiling or a piece of art, for example. A couple of hidden uplighters at the base of a wall light up said wallpaper, curtains, a texture or colour. Create little pockets of flickering delight with clusters of candles, on a mantelpiece, table, window sill or radiator cover… Layering light is one of the most effective techniques to create drama and personality. Low floor level, side table lamps or candles, floor or wall lamps are great additions to a room that only has ceilingmounted lights. When we allow ourselves the luxury to take a breath, we want to feel cocooned with a haloed alcove in the space

we chose, not floating within its brightly-lit expanse. Create a winter scheme that can allow a quick change-over to a spring or summer one later: get some furry cushion covers, or velvet or bouclé options, get a faux fur throw, or a thick woolly or cashmere option. Add sparkly candle holders and tealight saucers, a gingerbread or spicy room scent, essential oil or candle. Fill a vase with fragrant pine or fir tree branches. And to finish it all off, light a comforting fire or turn on the fireplace channel (you laugh, you’d be surprised!) or It’s A Wonderful Life, sit back, pull on your bamboo socks, take a sip of your chosen tipple and breathe in that wintery escape feeling. You got away. TURN TO P49 to read about the Surrey property market



SOME LEADING MAINTAINED SCHOOL OPTIONS PRIMARY SCHOOLS SCHOOL New Haw Community Junior School South Farnham School St Alban’s Catholic Primary School



Miss Esther Whitbourn Farnham Mr M Brannigan East Molesey

St Augustine’s Catholic Primary Mrs A Walsh Frimley School /primary/staugustines St Dunstan’s Catholic Primary School The Raleigh School Town Farm Primary School & Nursery Wallace Fields Junior School Wonersh and Shamley Green CofE Aided Primary School Wallace Fields Junior School

Mrs Julianne Birch Woking

Mrs Fiona O’Neill Mr Bhatti West Horsley Staines

Mr Steve Lee Mr Tim Cheesman Epsom Shamley Green

Mr Steve Lee Epsom



SECONDARY SCHOOLS SCHOOL HEADTEACHER WEBSITE LOCATION All Hallows Catholic School Mr Mark Baines Farnham Ash Manor School Ms A Bailey Ashford Bishop David Brown School Mr J Rodgers Woking Blenheim High School Mr A A Bodell Epsom Broadwater School Mrs Lizzi Matthews Godalming Carrington School Ms Kerry Oakley Redhill (formerly The Warwick School) Christ’s College Guildford Mrs Sarah Hatch Guildford Cobham Free School Executive Headteacher: Cobham Mrs Michaela Khatib Collingwood College Mr E Tanner Camberley de Stafford School Executive Head: Caterham Jeremy Garner Epsom and Ewell High School Mr James Newman Ewell Esher Church of England Executive Head: Esher High School Mr Mike Boddington Head of School: Mr Andy King Farnham Heath End Mr Stuart Maginnis Farnham Fullbrook School Ms Katie Moore Addlestone George Abbot School Mrs K Carriett Guildford Glebelands School Mr Russell Mitchell Cranleigh Glyn School Executive Head: Ewell Mr M Duffield Head of School: Mrs J Garrod Gordon’s School Mr Andrew J Moss Woking Guildford County School Mr Steve Smith Guildford Heathside School Head of School: Weybridge Mr Gareth Lewis Executive Principal: Ms Anne Cullum Hinchley Wood School Ms Maria Cachia & Esher Ms Lucy Macdonald Howard of Effingham School Effingham Jubilee High School Mr Mark Conroy Addlestone Kings College Guildford Mr McKenzie Guildford Kings International College Mrs J Morgan Camberley Oakwood School Mr S Potten Horley Oxted School Executive Head: Oxted Ms Anne Louise Payne Head of School: Mr Russell Bond Reigate School Mr M Alexander Reigate Rodborough Mr Matthew Godalming Armstrong-Harris Rosebery School Ms Ros Allen Epsom Royal Alexandra and Albert Interim Head: Reigate School James Malley Salesian School, Chertsey Executive Head: Chertsey Mr James Kibble




SECONDARY SCHOOLS SCHOOL St Andrew’s Catholic School St Bede’s School St John the Baptist Catholic Comprehensive School, Woking St Peter’s Catholic School The Ashcombe School The Beacon School The Priory CofE Voluntary Aided School Therfield School The Winston Churchill School A Specialist Sports College Thomas Knyvett College Three Rivers Academy Tomlinscote School Warlingham School & Sixth Form College Weydon School Woking High School Woolmer Hill School

HEADTEACHER WEBSITE LOCATION Mr Alan Mitchell Leatherhead Mr A Powell Redhill Mr J Granville Hamshar 01483 729343 Woking Mr Toby Miller Mr Chris Panting Mr K Batchelor Mrs J Trimnell Guildford Dorking Banstead Dorking

Mr J Malley and Leatherhead Mrs S Stemp Ms Zoë Johnson-Walker Woking Partnership Principal: Mr Richard Beeson Miss B Mayaire Principal: Mr Robert Major Mr Paul Foster Ashford Walton-On-Thames Frimley

Mrs Jackie Sharman Ms Maiken Walter Ms Clare Talbot Farnham Woking Haslemere Warlingham

GRAMMAR SCHOOLS SCHOOL Greenshaw High School Nonsuch High School for Girls Orchard Park High School Riddlesdown Collegiate Sutton Grammar School The Tiffin Girls’ School Tiffin School Wallington High School for Girls Wallington County Grammar School Wilson’s School

HEADTEACHER WEBSITE LOCATION Mr Nick House Sutton Ms Amy Cavilla Cheam Ms Carly Moran Croydon Mr Soumick Dey Purley Mr Ben Cloves Sutton Mr Ian Keary Kingston-upon-Thames Mr Mike Gascoigne Kingston-upon-Thames Mr Richard Booth Wallington Mr J. Bean Wallington Mr N J Cole


SIXTH FORM COLLEGES COLLEGE Collingwood College Esher College Godalming College

HEADTEACHER WEBSITE LOCATION Mr Eden Tanner Camberley Mr Dan Dean Thames Ditton Ms Emma Young Godalming



ACS International School Cobham & Egham For further information, please visit: &

Aldro School For further information, please visit:

Amesbury School Amesbury offers early years and prep education for children aged 2 to 13. A progressive curriculum with traditional values, the school aims to ensure every child enjoys their school years, having their interests and talents nurtured. The sense of community and belonging from both staff and children is evident. The school offers the Pre-Senior Baccalaureate programme and has digital learning fully embedded in the curriculum, having achieved Microsoft Showcase Schools status in 2021. The school is situated very close to Grayshott on Hazel Grove just off the A3 Hindhead southbound roundabout, set in a 34 acre rural setting.

Barfield School Barfield is a co–educational Preparatory School for children aged 2 to 11 in Farnham, Surrey. We aim to give our children a complete educational experience, with outstanding academic teaching in an excellent pastoral setting, and to prepare them fully for the senior school of their choice. Our central belief is that our children should be happy and positively challenged in what they do. Children can join Barfield Nursery in the academic year they reach their third birthday. They thrive in this happy, stimulating atmosphere, engaging in play-based learning. All year groups make full use of the extensive 12acre grounds/facilities for swimming, Forest Schools and Barfield’s very own outdoor adventure company 3Peaks.

Belmont School At Belmont School, we believe that the happiness and wellbeing of every pupil is of paramount importance and lies at the heart of a successful education as encapsulated in our strapline, `Achievement through Happiness’. Nestled in the Surrey Hills, our day and weekly boarding school educates children from 3 – 16 years. Pupils have 65 acres of wooded parkland to explore for activities such as Forest School, cross-country and mountain biking. Our aim is for each pupil to leave as a well-rounded individual and so the academic curriculum is enriched by sport, performing arts, visual arts and other cultural and creative opportunities.

Box Hill School Located in the beautiful Surrey Hills, Box Hill School is a co-educational day and boarding school catering for pupils aged 11-18. Our focus is on achieving the best academic outcome for each student. Our ethos of holistic education develops life-long skills which we see in our students as they develop into confident, resilient and well-rounded young men and women. We follow the national curriculum in the lower and middle schools and offer a diverse range of GCSEs and (I)GCSEs. In the Sixth Form we run two academic programmes; the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) and A Levels.

Canbury School For further information, please visit:



Caterham School Caterham School is a global academic innovator and leader, recognised as an EdTech 50 and an Apple Distinguished School. Caterham is first UK school to be awarded with the National Children’s Bureau Wellbeing Award and named by Spectator Magazine as top in Surrey for Oxbridge offers and acceptances. Wellbeing is the most important thing that we do as it underpins every aspect of school life and enables our pupils to thrive on every front. We are one of just a few UK schools which dedicates weekly timetabled lessons to a range of wellbeing topics.

Charterhouse School For further information, please visit:

City of London Freemen’s School For further information, please visit:

Claremont Fan Court School We are a co-educational school situated in Esher in Surrey, set in the historic 100-acre landscaped grounds of the Claremont Estate. Where else, within a bus ride from SW London, can children aged 2½ to 18 balance forest schools with further maths, lacrosse with the pursuit of a medical career, learn history in a building that made history, or play rugby while designing for a fashion show? Our pupils become a force for good in our global community. They are peaceful and purposeful, confident and collaborative; able to achieve more than they ever thought possible. Entry points: Pre-Nursery, Reception, Year 3, Year 5, Year 7 and lower sixth.

Cranleigh Prep School Cranleigh Prep School’s aim is to provide a stimulating and challenging academic environment, whilst enabling children aged 7 to 13 to grow in confidence, learning how to celebrate and build upon success as well as being resilient and determined in defeat. Through a strong sense of community, children develop team skills and become increasingly aware of their responsibilities to one another. Sport, music, drama, art and a myriad of other opportunities provide an enjoyable balance to those taxing classroom moments. They also learn respect and empathy for those with different interests to themselves. Pupils leave with a definite sense of purpose, well prepared for their senior schools and beyond.

Cranleigh School Cranleigh is Surrey’s leading co-educational independent school, offering boarding and day education for pupils aged 13 to 18. Cranleigh provides a breathtaking range of opportunities in a school small enough for everyone to know and support each other. Pupils lead busy lives now, exceeding academic and sporting expectations, whilst preparing for life beyond our beautiful, rural location. Cranleigh aims to provide young people with: the strength to succeed; the wisdom to make informed choices; resilience in the face of failure or difficulty; and the insight to recognise their privilege and to shape the future culture of the world through lives of service and leadership.



Cranmore School For further information, please visit:

Croydon High School Croydon High School is a leading independent day school for girls aged 3-18 in Selsdon, South Croydon. Established in 1874, the school is one of the original schools founded by the Girls’ Day School Trust. Its first Headmistress, Miss Dorinda Neligan, served the school for 27 years and became a militant suffragette upon retiring. Croydon High retains the spirit of its first headmistress: girls embrace challenge and opportunity, have a deeprooted sense of justice and equality of opportunity, and their remarkable talents and aspirations inspire the community, making this a truly exceptional place to work and learn. Main points of entry in Nursery, Reception, Years 7, 9, and 12.

Cumnor House Boys’ School For further information, please visit:

Cumnor House Girls’ School For further information, please visit:

Danes Hill School For further information, please visit:

Date Valley School Date Valley School is a leading co-educational independent school, which aims to build the skills, knowledge and positive attitudes necessary to help all our children to become responsible citizens of the future. We want to inspire our children to become exemplary members of the community, equipping them with the necessary skills and confidence to become future leaders and ambassadors. Our pursuit of educational excellence is based upon our unshakeable belief that every child is unique. Small class sizes allow our inspiring teachers to fully support each child, with staff providing an inspirational educational experience for all children and working tirelessly to ensure that each child is nurtured, inspired, challenged and supported to succeed and develop their natural gifts and talents.

Downsend School For further information, please visit:

Edgeborough Edgeborough is an award-winning, Co-Educational Independent day and boarding school for pupils aged 2-13 years old, situated in the beautiful countryside just outside Farnham, Surrey. Edgeborough’s ethos is that happy children thrive in a warm, kind environment where opportunities are abundant. Edgeborough prides itself on finding talent in each child that is recognised, nurtured and developed to create motivated, confident, independent learners. Kindness, happiness and respect for others are at the heart of everything. Emphasising a happy, family atmosphere, Edgeborough fosters all round development and a balanced, first-class education. Key entry points are Reception, Year 3 and Year 7.




Epsom College For further information, please visit:

Ewell Castle School For further information, please visit:

Feltonfleet Preparatory School For further information, please visit:

Frensham Heights At Frensham Heights, there is an energy, a feeling of happiness and calmness. From our founding days, everyone at Frensham has been on a level playing field. The teachers don’t hide behind titles or formality and the children’s individuality isn’t masked by uniforms or false respect. Everyone is a valued part of the community, and our teachers have time to build relationships, really special relationships based on genuine, mutual respect and interest. Relationships that spark learning. It is an environment that says come and be you. Be yourself, be open-minded and you’ve already created the perfect environment for learning.

Guildford High School (Junior and Senior School) For further information, please visit:

Halliford School In our Centenary year, Halliford continues to be a warm-hearted school based on strong family values, where we are proud to know and be respectful of every student as an individual. We encourage and support Hallifordians to flourish and become the best version of themselves that they can possibly be. We aim for excellence by being academically ambitious but at the same time academically sensitive. We inspire Hallifordians within a community that is founded on high-quality teaching and learning, outstanding pastoral care, and first-class sporting, cultural and extra-curricular opportunities.

Hampton Court House School For further information, please visit:

Homefield Prep School As one of the oldest prep schools in England, Homefield Prep has been renowned for its academic success and family atmosphere for over 150 years. A safe and happy environment, with a real depth of specialist teaching ensures the fulfilment of individual potential. We offer a truly cosmopolitan school with a generous education aimed not just at knowledge and skill, but also at building good character. Our well-rounded boys go on to some of the very best senior schools in the country. We encourage an enlightened individual who “can do all things if he will”: Creative, inquisitive and inventive.



King Edward’s Witley King Edward’s Witley is a vibrant school united by diversity. We aim to provide the best possible preparation for what is to follow in adult life by combining traditional values of excellence, breadth of opportunity, and a high level of pastoral care with a broad, innovative and forward-thinking curriculum. We admit pupils aged 11 to 18 from different academic, social, economic and cultural backgrounds who reflect the real world. We are a community where all individuals can thrive, boarding and day pupils grow together in an atmosphere of cooperation, mutual respect and independence of thought. We want every pupil to take the happiest of memories and lasting friendships with them into the future.

Kingston Grammar School For further information, please visit:

Kingswood House, Epsom An outstanding co-educational school from Reception to GCSE. “A Preparation for Life”. Kingswood House was founded in 1899 and has long enjoyed an outstanding reputation as a well-rounded school for boys from Reception to GCSE. We are thrilled to announce that our doors are now officially open to girls! We encourage early admission enquiries for through-year entry points if class space allows. Our Year 11 leavers achieved 100% GCSE pass rate this year at Level 9-4, including 66% at Level 9-6, and each student progressed to their sixth form destination of choice.

Laleham Lea School At Laleham Lea we firmly believe in putting the child at the centre of everything we do. From the warm welcome as you walk through the door in the morning to the playground where all ages play, run and socialise together as one happy family. Bright, light-filled classrooms and enthusiastic, experienced teachers engage your mind’s thirst for knowledge, helping each developing individual to reach their full potential and ultimately move on to the school of their choice.

Longacre School Longacre is a co-educational independent school for children aged 2 to 11. Located just five miles south of Guildford in the village of Shamley Green, children have woods to explore, time to enjoy the fresh air, and encouragement to get muddy. Despite being an all-embracing school, pupils consistently gain entry to a wide range of prestigious senior schools. In 2021 pupils went on to 15 independent schools including The Royal Grammar School, Guildford High, Reigate Grammar, Epsom College, St Catherine’s, Prior’s Field, King Edward’s and St John’s Leatherhead. Main entry points to the school are Nursery/Kindergarten, Reception and Year 3.

Micklefield School Micklefield School, in Reigate, Surrey, is an independent co-educational day school for children aged 2 – 11 years. With over 200 pupils, the School aims to create a family atmosphere where every child is encouraged to develop their potential whilst becoming confident, responsible and independent members of the community. Normal entry points are Nursery, Reception or Year 3 (scholarships are available in Year 3). Leavers’ destinations include Box Hill, Caterham, Dunottar, Reigate Grammar and Worth, with many achieving academic, sports, art and music scholarships.




Milbourne Lodge School For further information, please visit:

More House School Nationally celebrated as a centre for excellence and graded Outstanding in all areas by Ofsted (2019 and 2020), our school boasts a rich history of supporting boys with Specific Learning and Language difficulties, and associated conditions, in realising successes far beyond their expectations, transforming their futures. Our academic results at GCSE, A Level and BTEC are consistently above the national average for all schools, and the curriculum is complemented by an inspiring extra-curricular programme, so that each boy is successful amongst his peers, and learns to recognise that success. Building our students’ self-confidence and independence enables them to transform their lives and pursue aspirational futures.

Notre Dame School (Prep and Senior) For further information, please visit:

Parkside School At Parkside School, computer hacking sessions in the new Computer Headquarters (CHQ) room, set to the lilting sounds of Mozart, are a regular occurrence, as are creative engineering sessions in the DT workshop. This is an example of what lies at the heart of Parkside School; encouraging an empathy and understanding of the value of traditional skills, mixed with developing an innovative mindset to prepare for our ever-changing future. Music and laughter fill the corridors of this exquisite and historic School set in 45 acres of stunning countryside. A rigorous and successful pre-test programme ensures first choice Senior School places and scholarships are achieved. The innovative curriculum is delivered creatively in all subjects including forest school, drama and art from the co-ed Nursery through to Year 8.

Prior’s Field School For further information, please visit:

Reed’s School A successful HMC independent day and boarding school providing an education for pupils between 11 and 18, with girls in the Sixth Form. Set amongst 40 acres in Cobham, Surrey Reed’s offers huge advantages for day pupils, such as wrap-around care and outstanding pastoral support, allowing every child to be known and valued. Their values-driven education equips pupils with excellent academic qualifications and the interpersonal skills they’ll need for the future; it ensures when they leave they will possess a strong moral compass and a desire to go into the world and improve it. Entry points are boys at 11+, 13+; boys and girls in the Sixth Form.

Reigate Grammar School Reigate Grammar School prides itself in helping children reach their full potential. Each child has their unique blend of talents, skills, aspirations and abilities. Appreciating and developing these qualities on the journey from childhood to young adulthood is a privilege and a responsibility that we take seriously. Students will flourish in our care, their self-esteem will grow, and they will become a success story for themselves, their family and their school. But we will not forget that, behind their confident smile, they are still your daughter or son and that they will need our support and dedication every day. 6 0 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | W I N T E R 2 02 1


Ripley Court School Ripley Court is a leading Co-Educational Nursery and Prep School for children age 3 – 11 years. With extensive playing fields, its own forest school and an indoor swimming pool, Ripley Court is an idyllic environment for educating its pupils. We pride ourselves on having a warm, family atmosphere where exceptional pastoral care is at the heart of what we do. Pupils are inspired and encouraged to reach their full potential through our broad curriculum, weekly enrichment programme and the wealth of extracurricular activities offered. We are proud of the pupils’ academic successes, with many Year 6 pupils obtaining scholarships to their chosen secondary schools.

Rowan Preparatory School Start your journey at Rowan Prep School, an outstanding Preschool and Prep for girls aged 2-11 in Claygate, Surrey. Rowan Prep is a vibrant, friendly and nurturing community where girls are encouraged to be themselves. With traditional values and a forward-thinking approach to education, we offer a broad and adventurous curriculum full of exciting opportunities. Girls acquire life skills and knowledge that will prepare them for their time at top senior schools and beyond. Girls typically join in Preschool, Reception and Year 3. We look forward to welcoming you to our happy school.

Royal Grammar School Prep At RGS Prep, we provide the very best start for your son. We interweave gold-standard academic rigour with technological innovation, freedom of thought, and celebration of the individual. We encourage a climate of openness and awareness, based on mutual respect, rather than instruction and obedience based on authority. From the Prep School onwards, we foster an academic boldness that is the prerequisite to curiosity and creativity – an insistence on how to think, not what to think. This is at the very heart of the RGS ethos. Our pupils are brimming with enthusiasm, curiosity and energy. They are well-mannered and polite. They are individual. But, most of all, they are happy. Main points of entry are Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 3.

Royal Grammar School Guildford We are a kind, tolerant school where diverse opportunity, personal development, high achievement and collaborative partnership define who we are, and where our values of inclusivity, scholarship, integrity, respect, courage, and collaboration underpin all we do. The RGS ethos nurtures an academic boldness that is the prerequisite to curiosity and creativity – an insistence on how to think, not what to think. We want to ignite in all our boys a love of learning. Our boys enjoy a wide range of co-curricular activities, cultivate new interests and passions, and develop a variety of skills, many of which will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Main points of entry are Year 7 and Year 9.

Shrewsbury House School Shrewsbury House School is an outstanding independent Prep School for boys aged 7–13 located in Surbiton, Surrey. With a superb academic record, committed staff, small class sizes and dedicated pastoral care, every boy has the opportunity to fulfil his potential. Shrewsbury House School has a national reputation for success in Scholarships and Awards to top day and boarding Senior Schools at 13+.Shrewsbury House Prep School has recently been judged ‘Excellent’ in all areas following a recent ISI inspection in September 2021.



St. Andrew’s School, Woking St. Andrew’s School, Woking, situated in the village of Horsell, is a thriving co-educational independent day school for children aged 3 - 13 years. With individual attention and specialist teachers in all areas of the curriculum, the children are able to reach their full potential in a happy, caring and supportive environment. Educating the whole child is central to their ethos and, whilst academic standards are high, there are also real opportunities to develop skills in art, music and sport. In their latest ISI Inspection (Jan 2016), the school was rated ‘excellent’ in all areas. Main entry point: Nursery.

St Catherine’s School, Bramley In the 21st century, self-esteem and self-belief are critical if girls are going to maximise their potential, not only as an individual but how she impacts the world around her. In and outside the classroom, we offer your daughter the experiences, opportunities and support to build her confidence and capabilities. With a deep sense of self-belief and her feet firmly on the ground, she can excel academically and in life. St Catherine’s Prep School and Senior School (both day and boarding) are conveniently located 40 minutes from London and 45 minutes from Gatwick and Heathrow. Main entry points: Reception, Year 3, 7 and Sixth Form.

St George’s Weybridge For further information, please visit:

St Hilary’s School For further information please visit:

St Ives School Haslemere For further information, please visit:

St James’ Senior Boys’ School For further information, please visit:

St John’s School Leatherhead For further information, please visit:

St Teresa’s Effingham For further information, please visit: www./



Surbiton High School Surbiton High School is a leading academic independent HMC School consisting of Boys’ Preparatory School, Girls’ Preparatory School, Senior School and Sixth Form. Winner of TES Independent School Sports Award (2019) & Creativity Award (2018), the corridors at Surbiton High School are filled daily with the buzz of pupils engaged in learning, debating issues, challenging concepts, and thinking innovatively. Discover a School thriving with opportunity and possibilities with small class sizes, subject-specialist teaching, and a nurturing environment. We feed our pupils’ minds, with a bespoke and innovative curriculum, and we also care passionately about their character development and happiness.

Sutton High School Sutton High School GDST is vibrant and diverse and our girls are proud to be part of our energetic and forward-thinking community. At the heart of our offer are the core values of courage, truth and joy. We inspire and nurture individuality, and our girls learn to find their own voice. We place enormous emphasis on both self-respect and respect for others. We know that girls do better when they feel better, so their wellbeing is our central focus. Every girl will find her own path here and she will forge that path with support from passionate and dedicated staff, committed to her success.

The Yehudi Menuhin School The celebrated violinist, Yehudi Menuhin, founded his School for musically gifted children to develop their talents to the highest level, within a nurturing and stimulating academic environment, regardless of their economic background. Today’s school provides a holistic education for around 80 pupils aged 11 to 19, with specialist tuition on the stringed instruments, piano and classical guitar. Pupils split their time between academic and musical studies, and enjoy many performance opportunities. Selection of pupils to the School is ‘means-blind’ and is determined by a series of auditions, seeking to assess musical ability and potential.

Tormead School Tormead is an academically selective, independent day school for girls aged 4-18, located in the town of Guildford, Surrey. Tormead’s ethos of an all-round education, focusing on the needs of individuals and allowing them to flourish, both intellectually and creatively, lies at the heart of its academic success. Sport provides a diverse range of options, underpinned by a sport-for-all philosophy with well-developed Music, Drama and Art Departments and a wealth of extra-curricular opportunities and enrichment. Pastoral care is rated ‘excellent’ by inspectors, by parents and most importantly, by the pupils, who thrive in the supportive environment. The majority of students leave Tormead to study at their first choice university; with girls winning prestigious Arkwright Engineering Scholarships in recent years.

Trinity School Trinity is an independent boys’ school with a co-educational Sixth Form, in Croydon. The school was recently awarded ‘Excellent’ in an Independent Schools Inspectorate report (ISI) and ranked within the top 50 independent schools in the Sunday Times Parent Power Schools guide. Trinity’s focus is on leading through values; on the kind of young people that students become, with day-to-day school experiences and a love of learning shaping them before they move on to extraordinary futures. The school has an excellent record in helping students achieve places at top universities, including Oxbridge and Russell Group institutions, as well as competitive degree apprenticeships.




Weston Green School The beginning of a child’s education lays the foundations for their future success. At Weston Green, our experienced and dedicated teachers nurture and guide each pupil in their individual strengths and talents from their very first day. Every day children thrive on the opportunities to follow their chosen pathways, combining their interests with creative, enriching and positive educational experiences. Our core values underpin every child’s personal development giving every individual their chance to shine and achieve success from the very start of their academic journey. Weston Green School is a co-educational, independent school for children aged 2 -11 years.

Westward School Led by former pupil Mrs Stevenson, strong community spirit and family values are at the core of what Westward has been offering its co-educational primary pupils since 1927. Set in leafy Surrey, a short stroll from the Thames and a 25 minute commute into London Waterloo. A traditional approach to education with specialist teachers in sport, art, music, drama, IT & French ensures our children are active, confident, creative and articulate. Nurturing and supportive teachers promote kindness which runs throughout the school. Our aim - for all children to be happy & curious thinkers. Applicants accepted at all stages.

Woldingham School Woldingham is one of the UK’s leading boarding and day schools for girls aged 11-18. Set within 700 acres of the most beautiful Surrey countryside, yet remarkably accessible from London, Gatwick and Heathrow, Woldingham provides an inspiring and safe place for students to become confident, compassionate and courageous young women. It’s a place where students are helped to “write your own story” through excellent teaching, boundless opportunities and first-rate pastoral care. Most students join in Year 7, Year 9 or at Sixth Form. Woldingham is a Sacred Heart Catholic school. We warmly welcome students of all faiths and none.

Woodcote House School Woodcote House School is a family-run day and flexible boarding school for boys aged 7-13. Set in 30 acres of beautiful grounds in Windlesham, Surrey, Woodcote boys benefit from endless opportunities both in and out of the classroom. The boys enjoy a diverse curriculum, with new lessons in Social/Cultural Studies, Politics, Living to Learn and ‘Go Curiosity’ introduced in 2021. With excellent facilities, sport everyday, and an average class size of 10-12, each boy contributes and is motivated to reach his full potential. Woodcote has outstanding academic results with a 100% success gaining entrance into senior schools.





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